Sacto 9-1-1
October 12, 2012
South Lake Tahoe broker sentenced for embezzling from clients

A South Lake Tahoe investment broker has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for stealing from clients' accounts.

Lori Zoval, 47, also will be subject to three years of supervised release following her prison term for embezzling client money while employed as a licensed investment broker with a brokerage firm in Folsom. She was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., and a hearing was scheduled for Nov. 2 to determine the restitution amount, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Zoval pleaded guilty to using her position of trust to embezzle at least $24,939 from the investment and retirement accounts of her clients between October 2005 and April 2006. At sentencing, however, the court found that she had stolen more than $430,000 from these clients, a married couple close to retirement.

At sentencing, the court specifically found that Zoval had fraudulently created documents making it appear that her clients authorized money transfers from their accounts and took steps to lull the victims into believing that she was making legitimate and profitable investments on their behalf. Judge Burrell rejected Zoval's argument for a sentence of probation, noting that Zoval had "concocted a fraudulent scheme through which she manipulated and stole from the victims" to whom she had ingratiated herself.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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