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Nearly a year after San Francisco’s Pave & Bogaards accused its former office manager of stealing more than $300,000, prosecutors are charging her with embezzlement. Barbara Boyd was arraigned in superior court Wednesday on 18 felony counts — one for embezzlement, two for grand theft and 15 for forgery, the San Francisco district attorney’s office announced Thursday. The city’s case accuses her of taking more than $180,000. If she’s convicted of all the charges against her, according to Assistant District Attorney Marc Katz, Boyd could face nearly 14 years in prison, plus be required to make restitution. Debra Bogaards, the managing partner of the four-lawyer civil firm, says she’s hoping for more than just a slap on the wrist. “I would not want to see a repeat offense,” Bogaards said, “because this had a great impact [on] me, my employees and their families.” Deputy Public Defender Alexander Lilien, who represented Boyd in court Wednesday, said he is surprised the DA is pursuing the case. “It is very early in the criminal proceedings,” he said. But, noting that Boyd had settled a civil case with the firm, he added, “This appears to be a dispute about business practices.” Boyd had worked for more than seven years as the legal secretary and office manager at Pave & Bogaards, which handles mostly insurance defense work. Her responsibilities had included writing checks (signed with the partners’ rubber stamp) and taking care of the mail, prosecutors say in court documents. The partners had long trusted her, prosecutors say, because they believed her to be a personal friend to one of them, as well as a loyal worker. But Pave & Bogaards became suspicious after Boyd moved to Mississippi last year. Without her around to open the mail, they noticed several past-due bills. And when they confronted her about it, Boyd sent her former bosses a stunning e-mail telling them they only had about $1,000 left in the bank, according to prosecution documents. Now, prosecutors are alleging that Boyd created more than 280 fraudulent checks during her time with the firm and funneled the money to her own bank accounts. Bogaards and her partner, Robert Pave, sued Boyd last year, claiming, among other things, that she’d spent the firm’s money on timeshare property and used its accounts, with stores like Office Depot, to buy televisions and other things for herself and her friends. Bogaards said they’ve settled their case against Boyd and that the terms of their settlement are confidential. But the lawsuit continues against Bank of the West, which Pave & Bogaards had named as a defendant for allegedly letting Boyd get away with fraud. Bank of the West’s lawyer said the bank does not comment on pending litigation.

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