RIO VISTA — A former director of accounting with the River Delta School District in Rio Vista pleaded not guilty Friday to 24 felony counts of embezzling public funds and forgery.
Marianne Zepeda, a district employee since 1995, was ordered to return to court Oct. 31 when a date for a probable cause hearing may be scheduled. Rio Vista police arrested Zepeda earlier this month. She posted $45,000 bail shortly after her arrest.
Prosecutors now believe the loss to the small rural school district is nearly $90,000 and that fraudulent checks had been written on district accounts for the past eight years.
District employees uncovered suspicious circumstance in November 2012 and began a review of all banking activity done by the district. Zepeda’s employment with the district ended in August 2013.
Circumstances surrounding a string of questionable checks – and what they were for – are detailed in a search warrant for six bank accounts Zepeda and her family members had with a Rio Vista Bank through which many of the fraudulent checked were passed.
Zepeda was one of only three district employees who could write checks for the district. The fraudulent checks were recorded in district records as payments for other employees, vendors and contractors.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.