Former mosquito district official remanded to custody


Formal sentencing for a former mosquito district financial director who embezzled more than $450,000 was delayed a fifth time on Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court, but this time Jo Ann Dearman will await her next court date in a county jail cell, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Dearman, 62, was remanded to custody Friday morning. She had been free from custody on $250,000 bail since pleading no contest in April to 10 felonies in exchange for no more than 11 years in prison, Wagstaffe said.

Dearman, who also goes by the alias Joanne Seeney, along with her bookkeeping assistant Vika Sinipata, 37, embezzled the funds between 2009 and 2011, Wagstaffe said.

During the two years, the duo embezzled the money by giving themselves extra pay, higher pay rates and fraudulent time off, according to the district attorney. The women also made electronic transfers to their personal bank accounts and used district credit cards for personal purchases.

A member of the mosquito district's board of trustees noticed the expense overages, which resulted in its investigation.

Sinipata, who is facing a maximum of eight years in prison, remains in custody in lieu of $150,000. She pleaded no contest to 12 felonies on Feb. 25, according to court documents.

Dearman's attorney, Geoff Carr, presented the court Friday with a $200,000 personal check to pay partial restitution with the promise of an additional $50,000 by Dearman's next court date on Jan. 17, according to the district attorney.

The two women are scheduled to return to court on Jan. 17 at 8:45 a.m. before Judge Jonathan Karesh for imposition of sentence and order for restitution.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by tax payer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Good for D A in prosecuting these two embezzlers.. Prison time for both women!!. That's a lot of money and they were entrusted to take care of that districts money. They violated our trust. 10 yrs in a prison cell is a fair sentence for what they did.
I work honestly everyday and watch people do dishonest things everyday. Shame on these two people.

Like this comment
Posted by Jeff K
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

It's clear what these two two people did was a crime and should be punished ... but Wow!... look how hard justice is coming down on them as compared to financial industry executives who knowingly gamed the system to their personal financial benefit during the run-up to the 2008 crash and have since paid little, if any, price for their actions.

Like this comment
Posted by Sheldon Kay
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

They should get a minimum of 11 years and at least 1 mosquito in their cell at all times.

Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Good way to assure that the check clears. postponements have been too many and too long. Time she sees the outside world through bars.

Like this comment
Posted by Marty
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

How come these women are facing years in prison when George Schirakawa (sp) in San Jose got only one year for his major corruption and theft from the city of San Jose? I guess it is whom you know. The imbalance in sentencing is absurd.

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