Former downtown San Mateo group head indicted on embezzlement charges

The former executive director of the Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA) has been indicted on embezzlement charges and could face up to four years in prison if convicted, according to San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato.

Jessica Evans, who unexpectedly resigned from her position with the merchant's association in July, faces charges that she embezzled from the organization, which works to promote downtown San Mateo businesses, according to Serrato.

Serrato said Evans allegedly used DSMA credit cards and checks for personal expenses, contributing to total losses of about $5,000 for the association. The alleged expenditures include a resort stay in Sausalito, her monthly cell phone bill and checks payable to cash, Serrato said.

Because the downtown organization uses some tax money to help pay for its initiatives, Evans is also charged with theft of public funds, Serrato noted.

After her Thursday arraignment, additional court dates will be set, but lawyers for the prosecution and defense might discuss the possibility of an early disposition, according to Serrato.

Evans began working for the DSMA in June 2011. Prior to that, she held a leadership role with the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce. Evans was unable to be reached for comment on the charges.

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