According to investigators, the man stole more than $11M from the church. He used the money to purchase a $2M home, and for other luxury goods. A grand jury indicted the man in 2018. According to grand jury records, the man began working for the church in 2001, and was granted access to the church’s finances in 2005.
Once he controlled the church accounts, he began writing checks to fictitious companies that he created or controlled. In some cases, he associated names of family members with the fake companies. The embezzlement took place between 2006 and 2016. He also forged the signatures of other church members on checks.
At one point, the church sold its Hollywood property for $12.8M. The man used the proceeds from the sale to purchase a $2M home for himself. He also directed a large portion of the proceeds to himself via a fake environmental services. Additionally, he characterized some of the proceeds of the sale as “donations.”
Part of the embezzlement scheme involved overpaying taxes, then intercepting the tax refunds into accounts he controlled. He also intercepted donations totaling $70,000 that were intended as a bequest to a private school.
The man will return to court on May 18 for sentencing.
Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer
When you face criminal charges for stealing funds from an employer, hire an experienced Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes criminal cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
He is a top-rated defender and takes cases in both federal and state courts. Don’t settle for an inexperienced embezzlement lawyer.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Brian Indrelunas, via Flickr.com