According to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department press release, dated Feb. 25, former Yucaipa city employee, Martha Amarilys Avalos, 34, resident of Loma Linda, was arrested on charges of grand theft.
“On Oct. 7, 2019, Yucaipa Police Department detectives began an investigation into allegations of theft from the city of Yucaipa by a city employee,” the press release stated. “Bank records were obtained, and numerous checks made payable to the city of Yucaipa for outstanding fees were deposited into Avalos’ personal account. On Nov. 13, 2019, a warrant was obtained for Avalos’ arrest on grand theft charges and she surrendered the following day. She was booked and then released on bail. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, Avalos was arrested again for failing to appear at a court hearing on the theft case. She was booked at the Central Detention Center.”
According to a source, Avalos posted $25,000 bail on Thursday, Feb. 20, and was released on bail.
Yucaipa city officials confirmed a forensic auditor was hired and is currently investigating the case. The District Attorney’s office is filing criminal charges.
Grand thefts over $950 typically carry a felony charge.
As far as the stolen funds, the amount could be closer to $300,000, but that number is still undetermined, as the investigation is ongoing. According to the City Manager Ray Casey, the city of Yucaipa had insurance that will cover the entire amount of stolen money and the city will not be liable for the theft.
The investigation is ongoing, and the News Mirror will continue to report any updates on the case, as it becomes available.