Trust Administrator Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of More Than $1 Million
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 19, 2014|
SAN DIEGO, CA—United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Brian Lee of San Diego County pleaded guilty today to participating in a scheme he created to obtain more than $1 million from accounts he had opened on behalf of any elderly couple. Lee entered his guilty plea to one count of wire fraud before Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler and is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz on May 16, 2014, for sentencing.
In approximately June 2004, a San Diego couple hired Lee to create trusts and corporations on their behalf and to control bank accounts he opened in the name of the various entities. As Lee admitted in today’s hearing and in court documents, between 2004 and 2012, he made unauthorized transfers of the couple’s funds, through interstate transactions, into other bank accounts over which he had exclusive control. He systematically withdrew funds for his personal use from various accounts, including one opened as a trust for the couple’s grandchildren. In total, Lee siphoned more than $1 million from the couple.
United States Attorney Duffy added, “In order to have confidence in the financial service professionals, all consumers—and especially our senior citizens—must be able to trust that their hard-earned money is safe from those they hire to help administer their estates. With the continued diligence of our partners in the FBI, we will continue to investigate allegations of embezzlement in order to deter such unscrupulous practices.”
Defendant in Case Number: 14cr0385BTM
Brian P. Lee
Summary of Charge
Count one: Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (wire fraud)
Maximum penalty: 20 years of custody; $250,000 Fine
Federal Bureau of Investigation