Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of MICHIKO DIAZ, 57, for stealing approximately $800,000 from her former employer. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third and Fourth Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. [1]

“This defendant is accused of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said District Attorney Vance. “Over a period of six years, Michiko Diaz allegedly stole money from her employer in order to pay court-ordered restitution to a previous victim of a similar scheme that she committed in New Jersey. I encourage any company that believes it has been the victim of this type of theft to call my Office’s Financial Frauds Hotline at 212-335-8900.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, between 2006 and 2012, DIAZ was employed by Kobe Steel USA as an Assistant Accounting Manager in its midtown Manhattan office. Between October 2006 and October 2012, she stole more than $800,000 from the company by writing and depositing a total of 99 checks payable to herself from a business account that she managed. The checks bore the forged signatures of different authorized company representatives. In order to disguise the thefts, the defendant made false entries in the company’s accounting records.

DIAZ routinely used the stolen funds to pay for court-ordered restitution arising out of her prior criminal case in New Jersey, as well as other personal expenses, including clothing, makeup, credit card and cable bills, and her daughter’s wedding expenses.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Zito is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gloria Garcia, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Archana Rao, Principal Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Michael Sachs, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Former Investigative Analyst Ellen Choi also assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance also thanked Detective Walter Lynch of the Midtown North Detective Squad, Kobe Steel USA, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance with the investigation.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

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