The former manager of a Wayne food store was sentenced to six years in prison for embezzling more than $250,000, authorities said Thursday.
Rosa E. Villarruel, 43, who also has used the last name Alvarado, formerly of the 2600 block of Helm Road in Carpentersville, pleaded guilty last week to felony theft and was sentenced in DuPage County by Judge Blanche Hill Fawell.
Villarruel could have faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted at trial. She received credit for time served in the county jail since March, when charges were filed against her.
Villarruel worked for Nature's Finest Foods as an office manager and personnel assistant, but funneled funds from the Wayne business into her various personal accounts over the course of two years, Wayne police said. Officials from the DuPage state's attorney's office said Nature's Finest Foods had its legitimate accounts at a local bank and Villarruel opened another account with a name similar to the store's. She would then endorse company checks to the fraudulent account.
Villarruel used the stolen funds primarily to pay utility bills and buy memberships on paid websites, according to court documents.
Wayne police officials said they began investigating in March 2011 and spent several hundred hours working on the case.