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La Quinta woman pleads not guilty to embezzlement

A 48-year-old woman from La Quinta has pleaded not guilty to charges she embezzled more than $114K from a local brokerage business where she worked over the past year.

Isabel Sonia Bandzej was arraigned at the Larson Justice Center Wednesday afternoon on a felony count of embezzlement, with a sentence-enhancing allegation that the amount involved was over $65K.

Judge James S. Hawkins reduced bail from $250K to $114,304, the exact amount she’s accused of embezzling. She’s still in custody at the Riverside County Jail in Indio.

Bandzej was arrested on Friday, February 13 around 7:30 a.m. after officers with the La Quinta Business District Unit searched her home in the 54000 block of Avenida Velasco in La Quinta, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Officers found evidence supporting the allegations.

She was hired by the company to maintain payment invoices to several of the company’s clients. The funds were taken from a business bank account over the past year and was recently noticed when the owner received a collections notice from a client, according to authorities.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of Bandzej is asked to call Officer Alex Quezada with the Thermal station at 760-863-8990.

KESQ News Team

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