Orange County lawyer used ill-gotten gains for online gambling

A lawyer accused of embezzling more than $900 000 from the estate of an Orange County woman and using much of it for online gambling had her bail set this week at $1 million, while her arraignment was postponed until next Tuesday.

Jennifer Ann Wenger (53) stands accused of embezzling more than $900 000 from the estate of Goldie Carlova while serving as the court appointed conservator and administrator of her estate between October 12, 2004 and February 28 2005.

She is charged with 73 counts of grand theft, along with enhancements for committing aggravated white collar crime over $500 000 and property damage of more than $150 000. If convicted, Wenger faces up to 56 years in prison, said Susan Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Before Wenger can post bail, she must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source, Schroeder said.

Wenger allegedly wrote 65 checks to herself from the estate, as well as deposited eight annuity checks into her personal account. The annuity checks had been intended for Carlova while she was alive, but had continued to be sent by mistake after her death, Schroeder said.

The prosecution will produce evidence to show that most of the embezzled money was put into online "e- wallets" in foreign countries by Wenger, who is alleged to have used the money for Internet gambling.

She is also accused of using $73 700 from Carlova's estate to reimburse another estate in San Bernardino County from which money was missing and for which she was also the conservator, Schroeder said.
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