SCVNews.com | SCV Woman Sentenced to Over 4 Years in Prison for Embezzling $1.7 Million

doj stampdoj stampA former human resources manager for a Santa Clarita-based race car design and engineering company was sentenced today to 51 months in federal prison for defrauding his then-employer of more than $1.7 million in diversity recruitment funds using two fake businesses. paid for services that were never performed.

Judith Fernandez-Adelugba, 45, of Stevenson Ranch, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. At today’s hearing, Judge Walter said Fernandez-Adelugba was “driven by pure greed” and that his criminal behavior had “shocked his employer to the core”.

Fernandez-Adelugba pleaded guilty in August 2021 to one count of wire fraud. He worked as the general manager of human resources for a company identified in court documents as “Company-1,” a Santa Clarita-based company that provided a technical and operations center for high-performance racing programs and specialized in the design and development of high-end racing cars. in performance auto parts.

Fernandez-Adelugba was responsible for the company’s diversity recruitment, which included implementing and managing programs to encourage people of different genders, races, ethnicities and other backgrounds to apply for employment with her employer. He was also authorized to approve payment of invoices up to $25,000.

To help her in the scheme, Fernandez-Adelugba recruited her father, George Fernandez, 75, of Stevenson Ranch, and Alex Lawrence Wilkison, 49, of Canyon Country, who was married to Fernandez-Adelugba’s co-worker at Company-1. George Fernandez was president and CEO of Stevenson Ranch-based Business Solutions Services. Wilkison was the registered owner of Engineering Talent Connect, a fictitious business name registered to a Mission Hills address.

Between March 2015 and his resignation from Company-1 in February 2018, Fernandez-Adelugba, his father and Wilkison used Business Solutions Services and Engineering Talent Connect to embezzle Company-1’s funds, which they used for their personal enrichment :

Participants in the scheme submitted false invoices to Company-1, issued by Business Solutions Services and Engineering Talent Connect, claiming payment for services allegedly performed in connection with diversity recruitment. These “services” included posting jobs, posting job advertisements, searching for candidates, and successfully recruiting candidates for Company-1.

Fernandez-Adelugba approved the false invoices for payment, delivered them to Company-1’s accounting department, and followed up to request and facilitate payment of the false invoices.

After Company-1 made payments on the false invoices, Fernandez-Adelugba and his co-conspirators used their ill-gotten gains for personal expenses such as trips to Las Vegas, credit card bills, and dining out.

Between March 2015 and November 2017, Fernandez-Adelugba caused 150 false invoices to be submitted to Company-1, which in turn caused it to transfer a total of $1,745,964 to the two companies involved in the scheme, $1,562,364 to Business Solutions Services and $183: $183 to Engineering, Talent Connect.

Fernandez-Adelugba paid kickbacks to his co-conspirators and kept more than $1.1 million in the scheme’s ill-gotten gains, which he used for his personal gain.

“Company 1 suffered more than a sense of betrayal,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memo. “[Fernandez-Adelugba’s] Misappropriation of diversity recruitment funds caused Company-1 to fall behind on its diversity recruitment goals. For a reason [Fernandez-Adelugba’s] greed and selfishness, many deserving various engineers may have been denied a potential career at Company-1.”

Wilkison pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of wire fraud and is serving six months in federal prison. Judge Walter ordered Wilkison to pay $183,600 in restitution.

George Fernandez agreed to pay $103,140 in restitution to the company as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. A supplemental information filed in September 2021 charged Fernandez with a felony count of failing to report his daughter’s wire fraud in March 2018 despite knowing about her criminal conduct.

The FBI investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Scott Petty of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

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SCVNews.com | SCV Woman Sentenced to Over 4 Years in Prison for Embezzling $1.7 Million
Source link SCVNews.com | SCV Woman Sentenced to Over 4 Years in Prison for Embezzling $1.7 Million

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