After two years of litigation, Oakland resident Catherine Bullard was sentenced Wednesday to two years and three months in prison for embezzling money from several local businesses, including Berkeley fashion retailer Molly B.
Bullard, 38, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud and was sentenced to pay $525,136.78 in restitution in addition to her prison term, according to a Thursday press release from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
Between 2003 to 2010 while working as a bookkeeper, Bullard stole from Molly B — which has two Berkeley locations, on Fourth Street and on Vine Street — as well as from A Step Forward, a clothing and accessories store located in the Piedmont Avenue shopping district in Oakland, and from Monsoon Corporation, a custom jewelry establishment in Oakland’s Montclair neighborhood.
Susan Trefethen, owner of the Molly B stores, said she does not expect to recoup the $150,000 she lost to Bullard during her two years of employment.
Trefethen explained her business is not the only one in the area to be victimized by fraud, but she never expected it to happen to her.
“It never crossed my mind with her because she was really smart and gained my trust. The biggest shock I’ve ever had in my life was when the feds came knocking on my door to tell me (Bullard) was under investigation,” Trefethen said.
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