Santa Clara County woman accused of embezzling from employer, starting fire to hide evidence
Photo: Janice Carlstrom / Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office
SARATOGA — A Santa Clara County woman has been arrested on allegations of forgery and embezzlement, as well as committing arson to hide the evidence, according to the county Sheriff’s Office.
The alleged crimes were uncovered after firefighters responded to a suspicious fire at Pollack Investments on November 4, 2019, where they also found 74-year-old Janice Carlstrom had been bound, gagged, and seemingly left for dead.
Carlstrom, a San Jose resident and employee at Pollack Investments, told investigators she didn’t know who attacked her or started the fire. She was later taken to a local medical center for treatment of a broken nose and a laceration on the back of her head.
Once the Sheriff’s Office began a formal investigation, however, they discovered fraudulent activity connected to Carlstrom, who appeared to have stolen over $44,000 from her employer. Investigators found additional fraudulent activity connected to multiple other institutions and totaling over $580,000.
During an interview on November 12 of this year, Carlstrom reportedly confessed to making fraudulent payments, starting the fire to hide the evidence, and fabricating the story of having been assaulted.
She is currently housed at the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of embezzlement, forgery, and arson.