Guerneville Woman Wanted In Church Embezzlement Surrenders

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SANTA ROSA (CBS / AP) — A Sonoma County woman whom prosecutors say embezzled nearly $713,000 from the church where she worked for years has turned herself into authorities.

The Press Democrat reported that 51-year-old Eleanor Zapanta of Guerneville surrendered on Monday, five days after she was charged with committing grand theft and forging documents when she was business manager of the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.

She is accused of taking the money between 2004 and last year through 250 unauthorized transactions.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Brockley said Zapanta is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. If convicted on all 14 counts, she faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.

The center has 1,000 members and is affiliated with the United Centers for Spiritual Living in Colorado.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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