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Former Sunnyside Police Department receptionist convicted, sentenced for embezzling $11,000 two years ago

YAKIMA - Virginia Perez was yesterday (Thursday) sentenced to four months in jail and is to pay more than $13,000 in restitution to the Sunnyside Police Department after having entered an Alford plea in Yakima County Superior Court for embezzling money from the local police department during her tenure as a receptionist there.

In September 2009 Sunnyside police disclosed an investigation into missing funds was conducted and inconsistencies in the prisoner and police trust accounts led police to believe Perez had embezzled more than $11,000 from the funds.

She worked as a receptionist for the department from May 2007 to July 2008.

Perez, after leaving the department, moved to California and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

She was taken into custody in Southgate, Calif. Dec. 2, 2009 and extradited to Washington later that month.

"It has taken a while to resolve this case," Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder said this morning (Friday).

Perez was sentenced on five counts of felony theft.

Radder said her four month sentence and restitution are standard for first-time offenders.

He said Perez acknowledged to the judge yesterday that if her case went to trial she "fully believes she would be convicted."

Radder said Perez has been ordered to return to court in 90 days to prove she has met the conditions of her sentencing.

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