Huge $1Million Fruit Company Embezzlement Suspects Now Exceed 9
Yet another suspect has been arraigned in connection with the theft of nearly $1 million form the Zirkle Fruit Company, after she was extradited from Imperial County, CA.
It is believed a number of other suspects, nearly all of whom are Hispanic, have fled to Mexico. That includes a husband and wife, 38-year-old Maria Theresa Galarza and 44-year-old Geronimo Marquez Galarza. Their whereabouts are not known. The total number of employees involved is said to be at least 11.
The suspect who was indicted this week was 52-year-old Norma Garza of Grandview, facing multiple counts of leading organized crime, and at least four counts of forgery, according to the Daily Sun newspaper.
She was extradited from Imperial County in CA, five miles from the Mexican border, on a nationwide arrest warrant.
Authorities say these suspects, plus 8 others, participated in an embezzlement ring that ended up stealing nearly a million dollars from the Zirkle Fruit Company. The workers used a fraudulent time card scheme to provide checks to workers, and even people who didn't work for the company's Paterson operation. Authorities say it's perhaps the largest case of fraud and embezzlement in the agriculture industry in state history.