Woman Sentenced To 15 Years And Repayment of Over 1/4 Million Dollars
Fort Bend County District Attorney
   
 
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Press Release

Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office

 

 

            On May 31, 2018, 400th District Court Judge Maggie Perez-Jaramillo convicted Lucia Villuendas of Theft of Property, Misapplication of Fiduciary Property, and Money Laundering after the defendant plead guilty to the crimes.  The court then sentenced Villuendas to 15 years in prison and ordered her to pay $257,438.78 back in restitution.  The 40-year-old Houston woman was prosecuted for stealing and concealing funds from her employer from 2014 to 2016.

 

Villuendas was the financial coordinator at Westpark Springs Hospital, and in that role, was responsible for administering payroll.  Villuendas manipulated direct deposit payments by adding terminated employees back onto the payroll schedule and replaced the terminated employees’ bank information with her and her husband’s bank account information.  Westpark Springs is still in the process of recovering from the economic damage caused by the defendant’s theft.

 

The State presented evidence to the Court during the sentencing hearing that the defendant, while on bond in this case, stole over $90,000 from a new employer in Harris County during the past year.  Villuendas used $70,000 of those stolen funds to attempt to repay restitution in this case.  The defendant used the remaining balance of $20,000 for personal expenses such as nail salon visits.  Judge Jaramillo also heard evidence that the defendant committed a felony theft in 1999 and had served a 5-year probation term in Harris County.

 

Based on the amount of theft, the defendant’s willingness to commit a new offense while on bond, and the defendant’s willingness to use stolen funds to repay restitution, the prosecution argued that the defendant should serve time in prison because she could not be trusted in the community.  Defense counsel argued that Villuendas and her coworkers were victims of racism and discrimination and that the defendant stole from the company to support the terminated workers.  The defense offered no testimony or evidence showing the defendant and other employees were victims of discrimination and the defense offered no evidence that the defendant actually shared the stolen funds.  The prosecution rebutted the defense’s arguments with evidence showing all the stolen funds were transferred to Villuendas and her family, and that there were no records of complaints or lawsuits relating to the defendant’s discrimination claim.

 

“Villuendas repeatedly betrayed the trust of her employers and stole significant amounts of money to support her lifestyle,” said Abdul Farukhi, lead prosecutor on the case.  “Businesses depend on trustworthy employees and the court’s sentence will help protect our community from theft and fraud,”  Farukhi added.

 

Theft, Money Laundering and Misapplication of Fiduciary Property are all first-degree felonies in this case, punishable by 5 – 99 years, or life, in prison and a fine up to $10,000 on each case.  Villuendas was probation eligible.

 

 

Assistant District Attorneys Abdul Farukhi and Brandon Draper prosecuted the case.  Attorney Robert Valles, Jr. represented the defendant.



Comments:
Oh dear Lord, what a web of lies this woman did weave! So glad she will be cooling down in the prison.
Posted by audreyflowers at 6/2/2018 10:10:56 AM

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