Woman going to prison for embezzling $1.4 million

An executive assistant who admitted to embezzling more than

$1.4 million from a 99-year-old San Francisco business mogul was sentenced to almost two years in prison, federal authorities announced Monday.

Suzie Moy Yuen, a 53-year-old Richmond district resident, spent much of the money paying off her own Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue credit cards at the expense of her boss, multimillionaire Theodore Rosenberg.

Yuen, who worked with Rosenberg for 13 years, was responsible for maintaining his household and office expenses, preparing and signing checks and scheduling his appointments and travel, according to court documents. Yuen was given signature authority about her employer’s accounts at the Wells Fargo Bank and at the Bank of the West, but the authority was limited to paying his bills while he was traveling.

Rosenberg, who took over a one-man San Francisco window-washing business during the Depression and turned it into a billion-dollar corporation called ABM Industries, approached the FBI after Yuen left the job in 2003. Three years later, a San Jose grand jury indicted Yuen on seven counts of mail fraud and five counts of tax evasion.

To conceal her fraud, Yuen made false entries into her employer’s general ledgers to make it appear that all payments for her personal expenses were for his benefit. According to the indictment, to further conceal her fraud, Yuen lied to her employer’s accountant, who was conducting an internal investigation of his accounts.

After almost three years in federal court, she pleaded guilty Oct. 9 to a count of mail fraud and a count of filing a false tax return, according to the FBI. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge James Ware sentenced her to 20 months in prison. She will also be required to pay back $1,417,300 to her former boss, along with $182,000 in restitution.

bbegin@examiner.com

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