A former accountant from Santa Clarita has been sentenced to a year in jail for embezzling more than $93,000 from local Girl Scouts and a cancer center while handling their finances, prosecutors said Friday.
Patricia Cascione, 53, pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony count of embezzlement by a public of private officer, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Her sentence includes five years of formal probation.
The California Board of Accountancy’s online database does not list a licensed certified public accountant with the name Patricia Cascione. A DA’s office spokesman previously told KTLA that the defendant’s license was under the alias Patricia Ann Guardado. The license under the Guardado name did not get renewed after expiring on April 30, 2016, according to state records.
During the four-year period in which the crimes occurred, Cascione was the chief financial officer of the Beverly Hills Cancer Center, and the volunteer treasurer for two scout chapters and a Girl Scouts service unit, prosecutors said.
She pilfered over $58,000 from the Girl Scouts’ account for her own personal use between March 1, 2013, and Feb. 13, 2017, according to the release.
In her role as CFO, she diverted $34,500 in donations from the cancer center to one of the Girl Scouts accounts so she could embezzle the funds, prosecutors said.
Cascione was taken into custody in Sept. 2018 following a yearlong investigation, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
At the time of her arrest, Sgt. David Chambers told KTLA that Cascione used the money “for expenses she was incurring just as part of daily life” — not to buy lavish things.
Nothing about her lifestyle raised any red flags; she was caught because someone new in the accounting department “saw some discrepancies” that indicated possible theft, according to Chambers, who helped investigate the case.
“[Cascione] took money saying it was for one thing, and it was actually for another,” he said.
She has agreed to pay restitution to the Girl Scouts and the cancer center, according to the DA’s Office.