An ex-Apple employee will spend three years behind bars after perpetrating a brazen plot to steal nearly a quarter of a million dollars from her employer.
While 42-year-old Toni Ann Branca spent much of the embezzled money on personal items, it was a series of lingerie purchases that initially raised red flags for investigators.
According to NJ.com, multiple Victoria’s Secrets purchases made with her company-issued credit card launched an internal inquiry that revealed far more widespread abuse.
An investigation uncovered roughly $243,000 in fraudulent charges, many of which were at an array of high-end retailers including Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
She had been employed as an administrative assistant tasked in part with making arrangements for travel and other expenditures.
Part of her scheme involved submitting duplicate expense requests and using the extra money deposited into her account to fund her lifestyle. New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende issued a firm rebuke of the criminal behavior.
“Branca went on a lavish shopping spree at the expense of her employer, but ultimately she bought herself a state prison term,” she said. “Our financial crimes bureau will continue to uncover these fraud schemes and bring those responsible to justice.”
Police determined that the embezzlement spanned from 2013 to 2016. Branca largely worked remotely from her home during this period.
Branca pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception earlier this year and was sentenced this week. In addition to the jail sentence, she has reportedly repaid $95,000 in restitution to her former employer in the months since her January plea.
[Featured image: Toni Branca/New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice]