Tracie Vu, 27, was a designated trustee on an account of a family member who had been seriously injured in a vehicle accident and had received a large settlement.
Vu suddenly went missing in July 2012, police said, and $400,000 was discovered missing from the relative's account shortly afterward. Vu was listed as a missing person.
Vu then appeared in probate court in Oxnard. Police believe she appeared because she thought a trust-fund settlement agreement was to be made in her favor.
Simi Valley Police Detective Jeff Quartararo was notified of Vu's presence at the court. He arrived and arrested her without incident. Vu was booked at the Ventura County Main Jail on one count of embezzlement.
Police said Vu spent the embezzled money and no further effort could be made to recover it.