A Cambria woman accused of embezzling more than $1.1 million from her employer faces up to a decade in prison after pleading no contest to 26 felony charges Wednesday morning in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
According to the plea agreement, Elizabeth Edith Shaw would be sentenced to 13 years, serving no more than 10 years and no less than seven, with the remaining time stayed. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is recommending the full 10 years.
Shaw is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16.
Shaw went to work as an accountant for Tim and Linda Winsor’s Cambria-based construction company in late 2000 and, according to the complaint against her, stole more than $1.1 million in company funds by the time she was terminated in March 2016.
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Shaw allegedly used the funds to pay her mortgage, bills and vehicle registration fees.
The Winsors first discovered that funds were missing in December 2015, when Tim Winsor told Shaw he wanted to give out $20,000 in company Christmas bonuses and was told by Shaw that there was only $28,000 in the company’s operating account, according to court documents.
Winsor hired a new accountant who uncovered numerous irregularities with the company’s business accounts, according to court documents, and determined Shaw was responsible for stealing $1,163,400 in funds between January 2005 and March 2016.
After a 10-month criminal investigation, Shaw was charged in April. Although she is currently being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail on $1 million bail, Shaw was released for one week in May in order to sell assets to repay her victims.