Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A embezzler who was jailed when she missed a restitution deadline could face more time behind bars when she goes before a judge Dec. 3, a prosecutor said Monday.

Gail Diane Monestere,  who embezzled more than $22,000 while president of Sun View Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization in Huntington Beach, and agreed to repay the organization by Nov. 6, but only came up with half the $16,000 owed by a Nov. 6 deadline, Deputy District Attorney Clarissa Stone said.

She went missing Nov. 6 after being allowed to call friends and family members to get the money, Stone said. When Monestere was not in court at 11:30 a.m. that day, Orange County Superior Court Judge Joanne Motoike issued a warrant for her arrest.

When Monestere showed up at 1:30 p.m., she was jailed.

Someone came up with the full $16,000 on Monestere’s behalf on Friday, and her sentencing date was reset for Dec. 3, when the judge will decide whether she should spend more time behind bars, Stone said.

Monestere’s plea agreement called on her to pay back all of the stolen money — amounting to $22,258.32 — by the end of her three-year probation, Stone said.

“We’re happy for the school,” Stone said of the amount of stolen money retrieved.

Monestere pleaded guilty in September to felony grand theft and misdemeanor grand theft by embezzlement by a public or private officer.

Paying full restitution by the deadline would have enabled her to have the felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, Stone said.

While president of the PTO, Monestere wrote unauthorized checks to herself from the organization’s bank account in amounts ranging from $250 to $800, according to Stone. She was the organization’s president from September 2010 to February 2011.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *