Diaz appearing at her arraignment flanked by her lawyers Glenn Hardy (l) and Ted Goldbergh (r) at the Manhattan Supreme Court in NYC
Michiko Diaz, 57, a Kobe Steel USA bookkeeper embezzled about $800,000 by writing a total of 99 checks to herself from the company, part of which was used to pay back money she owed in New Jersey for a similar fraud, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Prosecuting, Assistant District Attorney Lisa Zito, stated that Diaz, who had been convicted of stealling from a former employer in New Jersey, wrote 99 unauthorized checks from Kobe to herself, between 2006 and 2012, and managed to keep up the charade for years without detection.
“She deposited them into her own personal Bank of America bank account,” Zito said at Diaz’s arraignment. “With that she created false journal entries into the business records of Kobe Steel to cover up these checks.”
Diaz allegedly owed about $80,000 in restitution to her former company and spent some of the funds she embezzled from Kobe to pay it back. She also used it to “pay for her daughter’s wedding, her credit card bills” and other “personal expenses,” the ADA said.
“She said the two most important words – not guilty,” said Diaz’s lawyer Glenn Hardy outside the courtroom. “We’ll be investigating the case.”
Due to the statute of limitations, her current charges related only to 2011 and 2012
The Japanese native, who has has lived in New Jersey for the past 15 years, was ordered held on $400,000 bond in Manhattan Supreme Court at her arraignment for grand larceny, possession of a forged instrument, criminal tax fraud and ordering a false instrument for filing.