By KAREN VELIE
A 56-year-old bookkeeper from Arroyo Grande was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to embezzlement.
Ginger Lee Mankins allegedly stole more than $5 million from Rick Machado Livestock and B&D Farms. Initially charged with 15 felony counts, Mankins pleaded guilty to six counts and admitted that her theft exceeded $500,000.
During the hearing, Jill Machado described her 20-year relationship with Mankins as closely personal in nature and noted the damage inflicted by the defendant was not “just financial”, but “calculated deliberate, drawn out over a long period of time and extremely impactful on our lives.” In imposing the 10-year prison sentence, Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy described the impact of Mankins’ actions as a “tremendous loss and violation of trust.”
Judge Duffy then ordered Mankins repay the money she stole in an amount to be determined by the court at a hearing set for Jan. 12.
From May 2007 through Feb. 2018, Mankins pilfered funds from Rick Machado Livestock, according to a criminal complaint. The theft was not discovered until March 2018.
Mankins also allegedly embezzled funds from B&D Farms from Aug. 2012 through Dec. 2019.
Rick Machado Livestock is a livestock auctioneer company operated by Rick and Jill Machado. B&D Farms, operated by Gary McKinsey, grows and sells produce.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations conducted the embezzlement probe with assistance from the Arroyo Grande Police Department.