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Local bookkeeper guilty of felony grand theft 

Alisha Cannon accused of stealing $30,000 from Simons Construction

Alisha Cannon embezzlement

Alisha Cannon was found guilty of one count of felony grant theft by embezzlement.

North County resident Alisha Amber Cannon, 31, originally charged with three counts of felony grand theft by embezzlement over $950, was found guilty of one count of felony grand theft at her hearing on Sept. 10. Her sentencing is set for Nov. 5 at 8:30 a.m. Cannon was charged by the San Luis Obispo County’s District Attorney earlier this year after her former employer, Benny Simons, president of Simons Construction, Inc., discovered that she had been buying items from Staples on the company account.

“We weren’t looking for it,” Simons said. “We treated her like family around here…I never suspected anything.”

Cannon quit Simons Construction, Inc. after about three years of employment as the company’s office manager/bookkeeper and now runs her own business, Cannon Business Services. What Simons and his wife found after they discovered the theft, was more than they ever expected: Cannon stole more than $20,000 worth of products over two and a half years and, in her last 13 months of employment, started depositing money into her account. When she did direct deposit for other employees, Simons said, Cannon would slip in an extra deposit for herself. He said that she took more than $30,000 in money and items when she was employed by his company.

After the Simonses discovered the embezzlement, Cannon was charged with three counts of felony grand theft by embezzlement:

  • Count 1: Felony grand theft by embezzlement was committed between March 13 and Dec. 14, 2011, when she unlawfully took money and personal property from Simons Construction, Inc. that exceeded a value of $950.
  • Count 2: Felony grand theft by embezzlement was committed between Jan. 13 and Dec. 28, 2012, when she unlawfully took money and personal property from Simons Construction, Inc. that exceeded a value of $950.
  • Count 3: Felony grand theft by embezzlement was committed between Jan. 23 and Nov. 5. 2013, when she unlawfully took money and personal property from Simons Construction, Inc. that exceeded a value of $950.

Though she originally pleaded “not guilty,” at her hearing on Sept. 10, she plead guilty to the first count and the other two were dismissed due to the plea bargain.

“I’m glad it’s kind of behind me,” Simons said. “I don’t understand why they let her plead down to one felony count from three felony counts [though]. I’m relatively satisfied with the judgment against her.”

Simons said that the felony charge could have been bargained down to a misdemeanor even though each count exceeded $950 by quite a bit.

“She’s paying for [her actions] today,” Simons said.

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