Ridgefield animal rescue larceny case continued
DANBURY — The pre-trial hearing of the city woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from a Ridgefield animal rescue was continued Monday at court to Feb. 24.
Amparo Sandoval, 55, of Danbury, is facing a first-degree larceny charge — to which she had pleaded not guilty — for allegedly stealing $200,000 from the Binn Animal Rescue over the course of three years.
The organization’s owner, Moreton Binn, said Sandoval was hired to take on housekeeping duties at his animal rescue and sanctuary.
Sandoval was arrested by Ridgefield police July 10, and originally accused of stealing $60,000 from the organization through fraudulent credit card charges.
After her arrest, Binn said he hired a forensic accounting team to review all accounts to which Sandoval had access. The firm found more than $200,000 was actually missing.
Sandoval’s attorney, Jennifer Tunnard, said in a December 2018 letter that her client “vehemently denies” the allegations.
Binn said the letter was sent a month after Sandoval abruptly quit her job at the animal rescue.
“One day she just got into a hysterical fit over some of the things she was being asked to do … and she said, ‘I quit,’” Binn said.
The company managing the foundation’s payroll later reported that Sandoval had drawn a paycheck for the full month of November, despite having quit 11 days before the end of the month.
That led Binn to begin a review of all of the accounts Sandoval had access to, and eventually press criminal charges.
Court documents and Binn’s account paint a web of fraudulent purchases Sandoval was able to carry out by ingraining herself in the animal rescue’s finances to avoid scrutiny.
“It appears that many, if not all of these unauthorized purchases were concealed from the Binns by way of financial transactions routed through the accounts of Binn Animal Rescue & Sanctuary Charitable Foundation … as well as other accounts of the Binns,” Binn’s attorney, Michael Maloney, wrote in a letter to Sandoval’s attorney last December.
Sandoval allegedly used some of the stolen funds to buy dresses off Amazon and $400 to $500 a month on gas.
Sandoval is out on $100,000 bond.