Legal adviser accused of theft

The owner of a San Luis Obispo legal services support firm has been charged with 21 felony counts involving theft and writing bad checks.

Lyza Coreen Johnsen, 35, who owns Johnsen & Johnsen Legal Support Services, has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is set for Dec. 14.

Court documents show multiple alleged violations committed by Johnsen over the past 13 months.

Johnsen’s alleged schemes included defrauding a computer technician whom she promised $10,000 per month for work at her business.

The technician initially didn’t receive his first paycheck and, after he inquired about it, Johnsen wrote him multiple bad checks totaling more than $13,000, according to investigators.

Another alleged scheme involved Johnsen opening an account with Los Padres Bank on Madonna Road and telling a bank employee that she needed cash immediately.

The Los Padres employee agreed to provide Johnsen with cash after she wrote out a check from her account with San Luis Trust Bank, but the employee didn’t properly hold the check until it cleared, and the check bounced, investigators said.

A third allegation of grand theft accuses Johnsen of stealing from a man she promised to help with a medical malpractice lawsuit.

She took several payments from him totaling about $24,000 but did not conduct legal work, according to investigators.

Johnsen was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2009 for writing checks she knew didn’t have sufficient funds to a Volvo dealership and the Family Care Network, court documents said.

Johnsen is in custody in County Jail in lieu of $975,000 bail.