Robin O'Connor from Facebook
Robin O'Connor told me through Facebook today, "Dan, I understand you have a job to do, and I really want to speak out about this, but I am not allowed to do this as part of an agreement that I have at the moment. I have called my attorney to see if I can talk to you because I don't believe you have the facts. I am not sure if there is a way for you to hold off on this story until I can give my side of this because as I am sure that you have come to realize in your profession, all is not always as it appears."
I explained to Robin that I had to run the story, and there are many detailed accusations in the Criminal Complaint filed in US District Court.
An affidavit from an FBI Special Agent says O'Connor embezzled $1,513,836.28 between June 2010 and June 2011. As a payroll manager for the team, she was allowed to take a Giants' laptop home -- it had a payroll program on it. O'Connor worked with players' direct deposits and their expenses.
The affidavit says O'Connor admitted forging a letter in the name of the Giants' HR Manager to the Bank of America. She was trying to get a loan to purchase a home in San Diego. The letter explained two large deposits in O'Connor's account: "Because of her outstanding contributions to our Major League Baseball team and Front Office during the 2010 season that assisted us in accomplishing our goal of winning the 2010 World Series, she was given two additional payments of compensation in May 2011. The two additional payment amounts were $100,090.71 and $200,348.89." Not bad bonuses for an employee with an $80,000 a year salary. The bank sent the letter to the Giants for confirmation, and it all unravelled.
According to the affidavit, the Giants were able to trace those two payments as coming from player accounts. The $200,348.89 was "redirected from a Giants' employee's direct deposit payment to O'Connor's Wells Fargo account on or about May 13, 2011." The $100,090.71 was "a purported tax adjustment to a second Giants' employee's salary that was redirected on or about May 13, 2011 to O'Connor's Wells Fargo account."
The affidavit says O'Connor, when confronted, admitted taking a total of $608,562.09 and wired the money back to the organization. In a subsequent review, the Giants' financial staff found another $900,000 and called the feds.
The Giants declined an interview today and would not reveal which players had their accounts inappropriately accessed. Here's the statement the Giants' spokeswoman sent me today:
"The Giants discovered evidence of possible misconduct by one of our employees which resulted in the employee's dismissal. We immediately notified the United States Attorney's office who is now handling the matter. The United States Attorney's Office has requested that we refrain from providing additional details at this time to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation."