Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Torrance Woman Suspected of Stealing $1.2M from SM Boss

A Torrance woman is suspected of stealing $1.2 million from a boss who had trusted her to run his office, only to discover she had pilfered profits and deposited them into her own bank account for three years, the victim and authorities said Wednesday.

Jennifer Robinson, who also went by the name Jennifer Osborn, was arrested Tuesday at a Starbucks coffee shop in Norwalk. She was released on $20,000 bail, county jail records show.

“I entrusted her with the keys to the kingdom,” said Larry Miceli, owner of LM Auto Wholesale in Norwalk. “I would say her betrayal is of Shakespearean proportion. It’s just beyond belief. I’m just flabbergasted.”

The Santa Monica resident said he and his friend examined the company’s books and discovered that several hundred checks Robinson allegedly had written were deposited into a bank account called “J Osborn Auto DBA LM Auto Wholesale.”

“The numbers weren’t adding up,” Miceli said. “There had to be something wrong. I said, ‘I know I’m making a good profit. Where’s the money?’ I’m a small businessman, but I turn big amounts of money.”

Last week, Miceli confronted Robinson and told her he knew she was stealing from him.

“She just rolled over,” he said.

Miceli provided copies of checks and Robinson’s statements to detectives at the sheriff’s Norwalk station.

Miceli arranged to meet Robinson to talk at the Starbucks at Rosecrans Avenue and Pioneer Boulevard. After she sat down at an outdoor table, deputies arrested her on suspicion of grand theft and embezzlement.

“There was no look of anything on her face,” Miceli said. “The cops were waiting around the corner. As soon as I said, ‘Roll,’ they came up and handcuffed her. She just looked completely blank.”

Robinson, 35, was quickly released pending further investigation.

A lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Department’s Commercial Crimes bureau, which has taken over the investigation, said detectives questioned Robinson, but need more than just the copies of checks provided by Miceli.

Investigators will serve search warrants on Robinson’s bank accounts to obtain the records to legally file the case.


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