"Shanika Brewer embezzled from two employers, including a health care program, to fund a lavish lifestyle well beyond her means," is how U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner described a Tracy woman he sentenced Thursday for wire fraud and embezzlement.
Brewer, 35, must report to serve her 30-month sentence in federal prison on Oct. 23 and pay $1,248,770 in restitution to her victims, a U.S. Attorney spokesperson said.
According to court records, from 2008 to 2011, Brewer was found to have falsified information as an account payable employee for Agilent Technologies. The information she made up caused other Agilent departments to issue checks to vendors who provided personal goods and services to Brewer. The defendant took and used the fraudulently -obtained checks to make mortgage payments, home improvements, pay her children's school tuition, her student loans and as deposits into her personal bank account.
The U.S. Attorney's Office stated Brewer stole more $1 million from Agilent in that manner.
Brewer next began working as the assistant controller for Health Plan of San Joaquin in December 2012. She was accused of submitting false invoices with forged signatures. When payments on the invoices came in, Brewer took the checks for her own use. That fraud cost approximately $100,000 in losses and expenses to the Health Plan which administers state-paid-for benefits to Medi-Cal recipients in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
Authorities became alerted to Brewer's activities when questions arose about the Health Plan invoices she submitted as well as notification from her credit card company that she was paying her account bill with county-issued checks, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.