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Nancy Johnson, the former chief financial officer of La Jolla's Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, pleaded guilty Tuesday (June 2) to embezzling $412,289.64 from the organization between 2008 and 2014. During the period, she was ordering department heads to reduce expenses because the center could not afford numerous programs and activities.

She spent the money on trips to Maui and the Bahamas, fancy dinners, and tickets to the ESPN X Games.

In a separate matter but also on Tuesday, Tamara Azizov, accounts payable clerk, admitted to stealing $154,192.74 from the center. She spent the money on clothing from upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, as well as on sushi. Both Johnson and Azizov continued their thefts until they left the charitable enterprise in spring of last year.

Both had access to the center's credit cards, and would falsely characterize their personal purchases as center expenses. Several people lost their jobs because the embezzlements made it difficult to balance budgets.

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Comments

Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 9:28 p.m.

MichaelValentine: Yes, troubles. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan June 4, 2015 @ 11:01 p.m.

Terrible story. How do we know this, Don?

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Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 7:03 a.m.

monaghan: The source was U.S. Attorney's office. They both confessed to crimes. Maybe I didn't make that clear. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK June 5, 2015 @ 7:42 a.m.

any of her co workers accompany her on the junkets and expensive meals and not speak up right away ?

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Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 11:59 a.m.

Murphyjunk: I didn't see any indication of co-workers going with her. Best, Don Bauder

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Wabbitsd June 5, 2015 @ 3:32 p.m.

Where did she come from before she was hired here? I bet she used that scheme before.

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Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 7:43 p.m.

Wabbitsd: I don't know where Johnson or Azizov worked before they went with the center. There is no indication that I can see that either one had ever pulled such stunts before. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi June 7, 2015 @ 9:21 a.m.

Apparently they didn't have an outside auditor review the books from time to time.

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Don Bauder June 7, 2015 @ 10:52 a.m.

Ponzi: I don't know the answer to that one, either. Keep in mind that outside auditors will deliberately miss things, too, if they are being remunerated very well. Best, Don Bauder

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