MariaDionisio7-28-10.jpgTwo former employees at a San Francisco software company were arrested and charged today with embezzling more than $2.6 million.

Maria Lourdes B. Dionisio, 46, of Pacifica, and Hannah Yau, 56, of Fremont, are accused of fraudulently issuing themselves checks over a four-year period at Autonomy, Inc., District Attorney Kamala Harris said.

Dionisio was a payroll clerk and Yau a financial analyst at the firm.

Harris said the women “essentially ended up being foxes that guarded the henhouse,” padding their salaries with bonus checks amounting to about $1.3 million each.


The company began an investigation after Dionisio was fired for unrelated reasons in May, Harris said. She said that when Dionisio filed for unemployment insurance, she listed an annual salary of nearly $450,000, far more than her base salary of $63,000.

Dionisio is alleged to have drafted the checks. Prosecutors said Yau also received checks and failed to notify the company of the theft.

Both women were arrested this morning, according to police Capt. Al Casciato of the economic crimes unit.

Prosecutors have charged Dionisio with grand theft, embezzlement and computer crimes, all felonies. Yau is charged with grand theft and embezzlement.

If convicted, Dionisio could face up to five years and eight months in prison, and with allegations of excessive taking, Yau could face up to six years and eight months in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

Both women are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Thursday morning in San Francisco Superior Court. Bail has been set at $1 million each.

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