Long Beach woman, 48, pleads guilty in fraud scheme

A 48-year-old Long Beach woman pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $237,000 while working for an ophthalmologist and was immediately sentenced to 330 days in jail.

Jacqueline Patterson pleaded guilty to grand theft and admitted to a sentencing enhancement for property damage in excess of $65,000, according to court records. Multiple other felony counts of computer access and fraud with sentencing enhancement for aggravated white collar crime between $100,000 and  $500,000 were dismissed.

While working for Dr. L. Wayne Freeman, starting in December 2008 and through July 2015, Patterson would use the company credit card account to get cash refunds, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Demetra Lewis said. The total loss was estimated to be $237,525, according to court records.

Patterson was accused of getting refunds in increments of $6,150 and up to $8,000, according to court records.

The fraud was uncovered when another employee in the doctor’s Long Beach office saw a credit card refund receipt for $1,800 on the bathroom floor, according to court records.

Seal Beach police investigated the case.

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