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Woman indicted in $1.3M embezzlement from Symantec

A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted a 47-year-old Utah woman Wednesday in the embezzlement of $1.34 million from a Mountain View company for cars, vacations, concerts and other expenses, according the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The panel charged Lena "Mickey" Jacobs Coombs with 26 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of money laundering for allegedly stealing the funds from Symantec Corp., a software firm, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said.

Coombs has been summoned to make her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in San Jose before Judge Paul Grewel on July 11.

The indictment alleges that Coombs, while employed as the marketing director for Mountain View-based Symantec's office in Lyndon, Utah, embezzled more than $1.34 million from 2010 to 2012, according to federal prosecutors.

Coombs obtained her employer's funds by charging unauthorized personal expenses on Symantec's American Express cards and then submitting fraudulent expense reports to cover up the charges as legitimate business expenses.

She also used the credit cards to make unapproved financial transfers to a PayPal account for Dart Marketing, a firm she controlled but that federal investigators alleged was a shell company she used to transfer funds into her own bank account for personal spending.

Coombs also submitted invoices to Symantec for marketing work through Dart Marketing that she never performed and then used the money to spend on herself, prosecutors said.

She falsely claimed to employees at Symantec that someone else owned and operated Dart Marketing, according to Haag.

Between January 2010 and May 2012, Coombs devised a scheme to defraud her company by embezzling money for vacations, cars, personal home remodeling, concert tickets and childcare expenses, prosecutors said.

The first transaction involving alleged wire fraud occurred on Jan. 5, 2010, when she charged $4,238 to Symantec's American Express card for a stay at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort in Hawaii.

On October of 2011, she charged $5,779 on the card at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua in Hawaii and a month later expensed more than $6,600 on the card at two hotels in Las Vegas. In 2012, she spent more than $5,000 at the Marriott Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

She also charged more than $3,300 on concert tickets through the online ticket seller StubHub.

Her largest transactions included a series of large wire transfers of cash to Dart Marketing, including $113,004 and $215,900 in 2011 and $220,000 in 2012.

The felony money laundering charges stemmed from 10 checks she wrote to herself, in amounts ranging from $12,000 to $32,000, from a credit union account for Dart Marketing that had with money deposited from fraudulent business expenses she charged to Symantec.

She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus restitution, for each count of wire fraud and 10 years and a $250,000 fine plus restitution for each count of money laundering, according to Haag.

— Bay City News Service

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