Ex-Giants payroll manager pleads guilty to defrauding team of $2.2M

Robin O’Connor (Courtesy photo)Robin O’Connor (Courtesy photo)

The former payroll manager of the San Francisco Giants has admitted to embezzling $2.2 million from the team, prosecutors said.

Robin O’Connor, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in San Francisco to one count of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

O’Connor, of American Canyon, admitted to diverting the funds from the team and from employees to her personal bank accounts between June 2010 and June 2011, prosecutors said. The embezzlement was done through a combination of improperly reducing employee tax withholdings, diverting funds that were to be used for salary and expenses, and writing fictitious checks.

The embezzlement was uncovered after O’Connor applied for a bank loan. Investigators said a letter supposedly from the team in support of her application – saying she was given an additional $300,000 for her contributions to the team’s 2010 World Series season – had been forged.

O’Connor was fired by the Giants on July 6, after admitting she had diverted the $300,000, as well as another $300,000, and was arrested two days later.

O’Connor has since returned some of the money and will forfeit some of her assets to pay restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Both O’Connor’s attorney and a Giants spokeswoman did not immediately return calls for comment Monday.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, but the actual sentence O’Connor will serve will be at a judge’s discretion. Federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a penalty of two years and nine months. Sentencing is scheduled for March 5.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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