Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that Mary Marlene Urias, 56 years old and resident of Oxnard, was sentenced to 7 years 4 months in state prison for embezzling over $100,000 from 5‑Star Theatricals located in Thousand Oaks. In July 2020, Urias pled guilty to multiple felonies including grand theft, presenting false documentary evidence to a court, identity theft, and one count of unemployment insurance fraud. She was also sentenced for violating her probation terms on two prior embezzlement convictions.

From June 2016 through February 2020, Urias was the office manager for 5‑Star Theatricals. During the course of this employment, she embezzled approximately $134,236 by writing fraudulent checks and stealing the cash. In order to conceal her thefts, she manipulated the victim’s accounting system. Urias used a portion of the money she stole from 5‑Star Theatricals to pay court-ordered restitution to victims of her previous thefts. Urias was eventually terminated by 5‑Start Theatricals when the thefts were discovered. She then successfully applied for unemployment insurance, falsely claiming she was laid off due to lack of work. Despite 5‑Star Theatricals contesting the reason for Urias’s unemployment, she was paid more than $7,200 in unemployment benefits.

This case was investigated by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern California High Tech Task Force, and prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Fraud and Technology Crimes Unit.