News Story


Moorpark Deputies Arrest Forgery Suspect Who Stole Over $600,000 from a Local Employer
9/7/2012 3:30:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Major Fraud / Embezzlement

Report Number:



Moorpark, CA

Date & Time:

September 4, 2012

Unit Responsible:

Moorpark Investigations

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(S) Luellen Leyva

Newbury Park




On 9-4-12, Moorpark Detectives learned Luellen Leyva forged company checks and stole from her place of employment. She was arrested and later admitted to stealing approximately $700,000 from her place of employment. She stated she wrote herself checks on her employer's account, deposited the checks into her two personal accounts and then wired the money to a man and his representatives that she met on an internet dating site. She stated that she wired over $500,000 from one of her bank accounts to her internet fiancée.  


A search was conducted of her residence, vehicle, computers, phone, bank accounts and email account. An analysis of her bank accounts showed Leyva deposited over $400,000 into one of her accounts and over $100,000 into another one of her accounts from checks she forged from her place of employment during the past twenty months alone. An analysis of her emails showed she had been communicating with a man known to her only as David Mark since last year. She thought she developed an internet romance with a wealthy foreign national. She believed he was to meet her last year but she soon was told he was detained by immigration when he landed in the United States to be with her. A long drawn out supposed battle with immigration and attorneys ensued in which Leyva consistently wired thousands of dollars in what she thought was an attempt to free her lover. Even after she was fired on 9-4-12, there was communication between Mark's alleged attorney and her regarding sending more money to secure Mark's release.  Leyva finally understood, during the interview with detectives, that there never was a David Mark who was being held by immigration and she was sending money to a criminal organization, based out of Africa.


Leyva is currently in custody at the Ventura County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.


Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Sergeant Victor Fazio

Media Release Date:


Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Kevin Lynch (805) 532 2700

Approved by:

Captain Ron Nelson


Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).