Saturday, 04 February 2023

Woman accused of embezzling more than $150,000

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH A COMPANY RESPONSE. 

 

CLEARLAKE OAKS – A Lower Lake woman is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from her employer.


Michelle Lynn Davis, 23, was arrested Jan. 2 by Lake County Sheriff's Detective Corey Paulich, according to jail records.


Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff said a felony warrant was issued for Davis, who then turned herself in.


“She's been charged with embezzlement and with a special allegation that the amount embezzled was over $150,000,” Hinchcliff said.


Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Cecil Brown said Davis is accused of taking the money from her employer, Shannon Ranches of Clearlake Oaks.


Brown said Davis had been with Shannon Ranches, a vineyard management consulting business, for five years. The occupation listed on her booking sheet is bookkeeper.


The investigation was triggered, said Brown, when the company noticed suspicious uses of business checks and a credit card.


Hinchcliff said he couldn't discuss the specifics of the case, which is so new that it has yet to be assigned to a deputy district attorney. Davis also has not yet appeared in court for arraignment, he added.


Davis' case constitutes one of the larger embezzlement prosecutions the District Attorney's Office has dealt with recently, said Hinchcliff.


If convicted, Davis could face up to five years in prison, Hinchcliff said.


Shannon Ranches, owned by Clay and Margarita Shannon, was a precursor to the couple's Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery, which has won both praise and awards for its wines, produced from winegrapes grown in Clearlake Oaks.


The Shannons also have become known for their generosity to community causes. They have assisted in Clearlake Oaks improvement projects, and last month volunteered one of their trucks to transport flooring materials from Southern California to the Clearlake Skate Park so the park can be repaired and reopened.


A company representative said they could offer no comment at this time.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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