Former Law Firm Office Manager Sentenced for Embezzling Over $1.1 Million

Jairo Tomas Santos, ex-office manager of a San Francisco law firm, received a 36-month prison sentence for embezzling over $1.1 million. The Hon. William H. Alsup, United States District Judge, also ordered Santos to pay $1,191,638.64 in restitution. United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp announced this.

Legal Basis for Sentencing

Santos faced serious charges of bank fraud, specifically violating 18 U.S.C. § 1344, which led to his indictment and eventual guilty plea.

Bank Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344) The legal proceedings against Jairo Tomas Santos hinged on his admission of embezzling funds through an elaborate scheme that began no later than March 2016 and continued until February 2023. Key details of the fraudulent activities included:

  • Method of Embezzlement: Santos fraudulently obtained checks from the victim law firm, made them payable to himself by forging the senior partner’s signature, and deposited these checks into his personal bank accounts at Wells Fargo Bank.
  • Extent of Fraud: Approximately 806 checks were deposited under Santos’s scheme, amounting to roughly $1,191,683 in unauthorized funds.

Dynamics of Sentencing

Judge Alsup emphasized the severe betrayal and financial harm Santos caused the law firm in his sentencing remarks. He imposed a 36-month prison sentence and ordered substantial restitution to reflect the crime’s seriousness and compensate the firm. Additionally, a five-year supervised release period will monitor Santos’s post-incarceration behavior, ensuring compliance and rehabilitation.

Judge’s Remarks: Judge Alsup condemned Santos’s conduct as “unforgivable,” emphasizing the calculated theft over years. This unforgiving stance underlines the court’s dedication to upholding justice and deterring future crimes of a similar nature.

Jury and Legal Proceedings

Santos’s guilty plea marked a pivotal moment in the case, resulting in a plea agreement that dismissed two of the three initial bank fraud charges against him.

The FBI’s diligent investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christiaan Highsmith’s prosecution efforts closed the case. Their collaboration highlighted the federal authorities’ commitment to rigorously prosecuting financial crimes, particularly sophisticated schemes defrauding employers.


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