St. Patrick's former finance director sentenced to jail


The former finance director of St. Patrick's Seminary and University in Menlo Park, accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from her former employer, was sentenced Friday, Aug. 7, to nine months in San Mateo County jail and five years of probation.

In addition, Jennifer Margret Morris, 59, of Hayward must pay $49,596 in restitution to her former employer, according to the District Attorney's Office.

On June 17, Ms. Morris pleaded no contest to three counts of felony embezzlement.

As finance director at the seminary, Ms. Morris used her own credit card for over $166,000 in seminary-related purchases over six years — and reimbursed herself from seminary funds — in order to accumulate airline miles, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors accused Ms. Morris of overpaying herself by at least $36,000 and making unauthorized severance payments to her secretary, Evelyn D. Vallacqua, who was accused of assisting Ms. Morris by issuing improper reimbursement checks.

In May 2014, Ms. Vallacqua, 46, pleaded no contest to felony embezzlement charges in exchange for testifying truthfully, prosecutors said. She is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 28.

Related story: Former finance director at St. Patrick's Seminary pleads no contest to felony embezzlement.

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