Former Chief Financial Officer of Irvine Technology Firm Indicted in Embezzlement Scheme and Returned to California Today
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 12, 2012|
SANTA ANA—A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday that charges the former chief financial officer of an Irvine-based technology company with a fraud scheme to embezzle approximately $16 million from his employer, announced André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles; and Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Jean Joseph Ibrahim, 33, formerly of Rancho Santa Margarita, was returned to California today and is expected to appear for an arraignment on Friday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Ibrahim has remained in federal custody since he was arrested last month upon entering the United States through New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. During a detention hearing held following his arrest on April 4, a federal magistrate in Brooklyn, New York ordered that Ibrahim be transferred to Orange County for prosecution. The indictment, returned Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, charges Ibrahim with two counts of wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement scheme.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on March 30, representatives for an Irvine-based company, Trustin Technology, contacted law enforcement with suspicions that Ibrahim had embezzled funds prior to resigning from the company in February 2012. The complaint alleged that company executives had approached Ibrahim with growing concerns about the company’s finances earlier this year but were advised by Ibrahim that delinquent customer payments had caused a cash flow shortage. When Ibrahim resigned from the company, an analysis of Trustin’s accounting records revealed that Ibrahim had been diverting the company’s money to his personal bank accounts, the complaint alleged.
According to the indictment, Ibrahim had been misappropriating Trustin customer payments since at least 2009 by diverting a portion to his personal accounts. Ibrahim manipulated company balance sheets to make it appear that customer payments were directed to the company’s accounts, when they were actually controlled by the defendant, the indictment alleges.
The indictment further alleges that Ibrahim changed the approval requirements for transactions on the company’s accounts so that he could make unilateral decisions regarding monetary transactions.
The indictment alleges that Ibrahim caused losses to Trustin Inc. in excess of $16 million and used the diverted money to gamble, trade in the commodities markets, and to purchase personal items such as suits, shoes, trips, and household expenses.
Ibrahim is expected to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on Friday.
This continuing investigation is being conducted by the FBI, with the assistance of agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Considerable assistance was provided by HSI and FBI special agents at JFK Airport when Ibrahim was apprehended.
Ibrahim is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Santa Ana.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.