Former Court Clerk Sentenced for Embezzlement
Press release from the District Attorney’s Office:
District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced today that Socorro Cervantes was sentenced to serve 365 days in jail and, five years of felony probation, and victim restitution of $95,964, for the crime of embezzlement. The hearing took place today before the Honorable Leslie C. Nichols, a judge from Santa Clara County.
Cervantes committed the crime while she was employed as an Assistant Court Manager at the Humboldt County Superior Court, a position from which she resigned in 2009. In October 2008, at the Humboldt County Superior Court, a cash payment went missing. This prompted internal and criminal investigations into the matter. The investigations showed that payments from defendants in traffic and criminal cases had not been entered into the court’s case management systems. The investigations showed that $95,964 was missing from about 200 cases. Based on the results of these investigations, and overwhelming circumstantial evidence pointing to her guilt, Cervantes was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury. Cervantes pled guilty to the embezzlement on June 3, 2016.
At sentencing, a representative of the Court Administrative Offices was present, and a victim-impact statement from the Court Executive Officer was read aloud by the prosecution. The defendant submitted a written statement admitting to wrongdoing and apologizing to the Court and to the public.
Immediately following the sentencing, Cervantes was remanded into the custody of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Nina Elisseou and Christopher Yi, and defended by Attorney Glenn Brown.