Evette Christine Weiler, 31, of Fremont, attracted suspicion after vendors complained about not being paid, and employee health insurance lapsed because premiums weren't paid, according to the district attorney's office. She had worked at the nursery for almost two years.
In January, auditors discovered "dozens of checks" written to a Fremont business called "When Every Penny Counts," police said. Prosecutors alleged that Ms. Weiler concealed the embezzlement by transferring money from the nursery's 401K retirement plan.
Menlo Park police arrested the bookkeeper in July. Ms. Weiler remains out of jail on a $100,000 bond. According to court records, she's scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8, 2011, for one count of felony embezzlement exceeding $65,000. She faces a maximum of 16 months in state prison.
How much time she serves, however, depends on whether Ms. Weiler returns the money. The district attorney's office said sentencing won't take place for two months to give her time to collect the funds.
"If she walks in and makes full restitution, that's a factor in her favor," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. "If she only walks in with $300, she needs to pick out what seat she wants on the bus to the state prison."