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A 49-year-old woman admitted taking more than $500,000 from her pizzeria employer, in a plea deal in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse today.

Susan Dawn Seibert was hired as bookkeeper for a chain of high-end pizza restaurants, Leucadia Pizzeria, in April 2008.

After four years, her employer informed her they intended to hire an accountant to review the books “because they appeared to be disorganized” and Seibert immediately quit her job, saying she wanted to “spend time planning her wedding,” according to attorneys who filed a civil suit late last year.

Attorneys for the owner of three pizza restaurants in the well-heeled communities of Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla, have filed suit seeking to “attach” a property reportedly owned by Susan Seibert.

The larcenous bookkeeper stole more than $545,000 between April 21, 2008 and May 18, 2012, attorneys alleged in court documents. The Leucadia Pizzeria chain has been in business 25 years, according to the owner.

Businessman Charles Conover claims that when he confronted Susan Seibert in June 2012, she “immediately confessed” and told him she took the money to “pay debts to third parties.”

“We determined that Seibert had printed most of the checks from a remote computer so that they did not even show in our Quickbooks system,” her employer stated in a civil suit filed in August of 2012.

Court documents show that Susan Seibert was sued by another San Diego County employer, Breach Security in 2008; she “resigned” from that accounting job in 2007.

In March 2010, the brazen bookkeeper agreed to pay back Breach Security $450,000 plus 5 percent interest, in a “stipulated judgement”. Seibert worked for that company as accounting manager from September 2004 until November 2007.

Encinitas Sheriff’s deputies arrested Susan Seibert on June 13, 2013. She was charged with 26 felonies, all theft charges related to her most recent position with the pizza chain.

Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn declared in court papers: “The audit revealed the defendant had written 172 unauthorized checks to herself from the Leucadia Pizza account over the entire 4 years of her employment. The checks totaled $545,078.51. Each check showed a forged signature of the owners of the company.”

Encinitas Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Dabbs gathered evidence showing that Seibert embezzled money from the pizzerias, and then wrote thirteen checks to her previous employer, thereby making partial payments on that civil judgment.

After two weeks in custody, Susan Dawn Seibert made a plea deal today, June 26, 2013. She admitted two felony counts of fraud and forgery and expects to get four years in State prison. The same judge who took the plea, Honorable David Berry, will pronounce sentence in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse next month, on July 24, 2013.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 June 26, 2013 @ 10:38 p.m.

No one deserves to be ripped off, but $500K????

I am shocked the guy was still in business with that kind of loss......

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Visduh June 27, 2013 @ 8:09 a.m.

SurfPup, you think just the same as I. We've had a number of these embezzlement cases recently that involved huge amounts of money stolen from generally small businesses that were still operating. I cannot grasp how the owner(s) were not aware of the situation. One possible explanation is that they were far more successful than they imagined, hence far more profitable, and that siphoning cash out of the bank account went undetected for that reason.

In this case, as with the prior ones, the owners needed to have some oversight from a CPA or an auditor, and didn't bother. But this one takes the cake because she had been fired from her prior job for stealing. Did they simply drop the ball on checking her employment history? Did they do any checking at all?

Leucadia Pizzeria was around thirty years ago, with one modest location in . . . Leucadia. It made great pizza, and moved to a far more extensive location at the corner of Encinitas Blvd and Coast Highway later on. I had no idea that they had multiple locations. Obviously, it was a very successful business. I'd guess that Conover, a typical entrepreneur, was bored and unconcerned with the financial details of his business, paid them no attention, and left the door of the henhouse open all the time.

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Ian Pike June 27, 2013 @ 9:26 a.m.

Srsly! Considering the razor -thin profit margins that restaurants contend with on a daily basis, I am just AMAZED that Leucadia Pizza managed to survive a $100k/year chunk missing out of the profits. That is one heck of a robust pizza chain. Maybe they can bottle and sell that financial durability. They'll be billionaires.

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SurfPuppy619 June 27, 2013 @ 10:33 a.m.

Ian, WELL run restaurants are highly profitable, the problem is they are hard to manage and run for many reasons, the biggest being employee theft of food (as well as money like here). But if you can control theft and and food costs you can make a shitload of cash. I used to work as a food supplier and the well run restaurants made people millionaires.

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lacostadad3 July 1, 2013 @ 10:39 a.m.

they lost more than the money, house/home, etc and sure its easy after the fact to say should have done this or that and should have know, but there are circumstances here involved that aren't in the news report realative to what and when.

Good people were taken advantage of and robbed of over half a million dollars by someone who they trusted, plus the idea that you don't check references crazy, we can't ask and former employers cant tell, ask you DA aboput that!

Ask the DA why, before many of the facts come out, they offer and accept this plea ? It helps their conviction rate, why did it take them 15 months to arrest? No one was hurt, really, how about employees who didn't get raises or more hours, the victim here is the owner and their family. Easy to tell people what they should have done without any facts, sad commentary on how little anyone understands or cares in this e-society!

Hope no of you or I ever have to go thru this crap and then get little satisfaction form our "system"

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SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2013 @ 6:16 p.m.

lacostadad3, if this is you in the story I am sorry for your loss/es, I hope you can recover, and I agree, no one has the right to rip off innocent people, hang in there.

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Eva Knott July 24, 2013 @ 10:01 p.m.

Susan Dawn Seibert, 49, was in court this afternoon July 24, but her sentencing was delayed for another month, until August 21. Victims who would like to speak are given opportunity to make "an impact statement" to the court, before sentencing is pronounced. That is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Department 6 of San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse located in Vista.

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