Office manager suspected of embezzling over $1M from Campbell law firm

A Gilroy woman accused of embezzling more than $1 million from the law firm where she worked as office manager is scheduled to appear for an arraignment in superior court in San Jose on Friday. 

Johnnell Alva, 35, allegedly used "a variety of schemes" to steal the money from the firm, which has offices in Campbell and Newport Beach, prosecutors said.

She is suspected of giving herself a salary of more nearly $420,000, using company checks to pay off personal debt and using the company credit card to make personal purchases, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Daniel Kassabian. 

Prosecutors also allege that between 2016 and 2019 Alva cut checks to J & J Construction, Inc., a company that she reportedly owns with her 60-year-old father, Juan. 

Father and daughter will be charged with grand theft, receipt of stolen property and conspiracy to defraud, according to prosecutors. 

Johnnell Alva was arrested Thursday and she is still in custody while her father remains at large, Kassabian said. 

Her arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. 

If convicted, the Alvas potentially face 12 years in prison. 

"Busy professionals often trust their long-time employees to run the office with little oversight," Kassabian said. "Those employees must be held accountable when they violate that trust."