LAS CRUCES – A former Mesilla Valley Transportation worker was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud last year.
Sandra Roberto, 44, worked for Mesilla Valley Transportation starting in 2009, first as a fuel clerk and later in the accounting office. Beginning in 2011 and continuing to 2018, federal prosecutors said Roberto exploited her position to embezzle approximately $1,130,215 from MVT.
Court records show that Roberto was the primary contact for third-party payment processors at MVT. Prosecutors said that Roberto would load cash advances onto debit cards used by MVT drivers. She’d then ask the third-party payment processors for authorization codes to remove the money and deposit it into her own bank account.
“From 2011 to 2018, Roberto submitted 1,735 such checks. Roberto used the money for personal expenditures such as rent and the purchase of vehicles, flights, hotel accommodations, and other items,” prosecutors said in a news release.
After serving her prison sentence, court records show that Roberto will have to pay restitution to MVT in the amount of $1,130,215 and to the IRS in the amount of $250,473, for a total amount of $1,380,688.
Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at JE [email protected]
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