A 60-year-old Menlo Park woman who owned and operated Cindy’s Flowers and Gifts in Menlo Park has pleaded no contest to two felonies: insurance fraud and unemployment insurance fraud on the condition that she not serve time in state prison.
The woman, Cynthia Smith, is expected to be sentenced to 90 days in county jail.
Ms. Smith’s shop was searched by Menlo Park police in November 2012. The search came after a year-long investigation of workers’ compensation fraud and violations of state business regulations.
According to prosecutors, Ms. Smith was paying her employees under the table in cash and failed to renew her workers’ compensation insurance policy, which was canceled because the premiums were not paid. She also allegedly was not paying some employees at all, and pay deductions for state and federal taxes were not being made.
The felonies may be eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors when full restitution is made.
The case has been continued to Oct. 19 for the imposition of Ms. Smith’s sentence and the report for how much restitution she will have to pay.
She remains out of custody on a $20,000 bail bond.
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