Plea talk in Santa Rosa church embezzlement case

| November 13, 2011

The lawyer for a Guerneville woman accused of embezzling more than $712,000 from a Santa Rosa church said Wednesday settlement talks are underway.

Eleanor Zapanta, 51, the former business manager at Center for Spiritual Living on Occidental Road, is charged with stealing the money over a seven-year period, from 2004-2010.

She faces a maximum 12 years in state prison but is hoping for an agreement with the judge to limit her incarceration to three years, according to sources familiar with the case. Zapanta has no criminal record.

Neither prosecutors nor Zapanta's lawyer would disclose any negotiations.

“I believe we're getting closer to a settlement in this matter,” Zapanta's lawyer, Richard Scott, told Judge Ken Gnoss Wednesday morning.

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Category: Church Security

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