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Former Bronco Wine employees guilty of embezzlement
cynthia gonzales
Cynthia Gonzales

A Turlock woman and a Ripon woman were sentenced to six months in jail for the theft of funds from Bronco Wine Company in Ceres.

Cynthia Gonzales, 37, of Turlock and Sharon Verville Lopez, 37, of Ripon both entered pleas earlier this week in Stanislaus County Superior Court to felony grand theft.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, which conducted the investigation, stated the two women were sentenced to 180 days in jail and ordered to pay restitution.

Gonzales and Lopez were both employed in the winery’s human resources department. According to the sheriff’s department, the pair conspired together through most of 2010 to steal money from payroll.

The discovery of the thefts was made in early 2011 during an annual audit of payroll compensation data.

The amount of money taken was not released.

Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said Bronco Wine Company routinely performs internal audits to verify the accounting data.

The sheriff’s investigation was led by Detective Billy Redding.