Prison for Former El Cajon City Leader Guilty of Embezzlement

Jillian Hanson-Cox spent millions on trips, gifts, clothes and spa visits

By Paul Krueger and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Dec 3, 2012  |  Updated 9:23 PM PDT
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El Cajon Councilwoman Resigns

A file image of Jillian Hanson-Cox.

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Prison for Former El Cajon Leader

Supporters and victims of a former El Cajon city council member, who embezzled millions from her employer, filled a federal courtroom Monday before a judge sentenced her to prison.

Councilwoman Abused Position: U.S. Attorney

The U.S. Attorney's Office says former El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox abused her position at Century Design Incorporated.
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Supporters and victims of a former El Cajon city councilmember, who embezzled millions from her employer, filled a federal courtroom Monday before a judge sentenced her to prison.

Jill Hanson-Cox admitted she stole $3.5 million from 2004 to 2008 when she worked as a controller for Century Design Inc. in Kearny Mesa.

A tearful Hanson-Cox told the judge what she did was "so wrong, so shameful" and said "I will be living with this for the rest of my life."

Federal Court Judge Michael Anello called it a "difficult and sad" case, that requires him to "balance the good and the bad" before he sentenced Hanson-Cox to 30 months in a federal prison.

She faced a maximum of more than 20 years in prison, and a $7 million fine. The sentence was six months longer than recommended by the probation department and 21 months less than prosecutors wanted.

She will remain free until she self-reports to prison, in about 6 weeks.

After she's served her prison time, she'll also be held on two years probation.

A breakdown of her expenses, obtained by NBC 7 San Diego, show that Hanson-Cox spent thousands of dollars buying expensive clothing, airline tickets, spa treatments and Christmas gifts.

Federal agents searched Hanson-Cox's home on Catalpa Way on March 3.

She was a two-term city councilmember and was serving as El Cajon's deputy mayor at the time.

Four days after the search warrant was executed, Hanson-Cox resigned.

Hanson-Cox later pleaded guilty to felony charges of mail fraud and making a false tax return.

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