SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The former chief financial officer for the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, who stole more than $400,000 from the center and used the money to pay for lavish vacations and designer clothing, was sentenced in federal court Friday to a year and a day in prison.
Nancy Johnson, of Escondido, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wire fraud and filing a false tax return.
Johnson, who served as the JCC's chief financial officer from 1991 to 2014, was able to carry out the embezzlement by virtue of her access to the full range of the organization's financial records and accounts, prosecutors said.
On most occasions, Johnson, 59, would simply use the JCC's credit cards to make personal purchases, falsely characterizing the purchases as legitimate JCC expenses, according to prosecutors.
At the end of the year, Johnson would allocate her personal expenses to the JCC departments that hadn't exceeded their budgets.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw remarked that the "depth of the crime is startling," and criticized Johnson's "selfish, decadent spending at the expense of a wonderful community organization."
Johnson, was oversaw a $13 million annual budget at the JCC, used the stolen funds for a variety of purchases including: a stay at the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui; airfare to the Bahamas; Jimmy Choo footwear; tickets to ESPN's X Games; and dinners at upscale restaurants such as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
Sabraw ordered Johnson to pay $115,441 in restitution to the IRS and noted that the defendant had already repaid $412,289 owed to the JCC.