Matthew Mercuro, the 36-year-old chief financial officer for fellow San Clemente resident Ryan Sheckler's businesses, was arrested and charged today with embezzling more than $365,000 from the 19-year-old professional skateboarding sensation, according to the Orange County District Attorney.
The suspect, who is accused of fraudulently transferring funds to himself from two corporate accounts, has been charged with two felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for excessive taking over $200,000 and $65,000. If convicted, Mercuro faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison.
Mercuro, who was being held on $400,000 bail pending a Tuesday arraignment at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond, the DA's office says.
According to the DA statement announcing the arrest:
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Between June 2008 and April 2009, Mercuro worked as CFO for companies owned by professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. The defendant is accused of having access to the accounts of the two businesses, Ryan Sheckler Rips LLC and Sheckler Merch 2 LLC. He is accused of embezzling over $365,000 from these companies by transferring money from the corporate accounts into personal accounts and the account of his wife and a friend.
The theft was discovered when the suspicious transfers were noticed during a review of the companies' finances. Mercuro was arrested today by the Huntington Beach Police Department, who investigated this case, at his business in San Clemente.
Investigators are still working the case, and anyone with additional information is asked to contact Huntington Beach Detective Mark Garcia at (714) 960-8848 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Ron Frazier at (714) 347-8691.
Sheckler, who began teaching himself to skate at 18 months of age after finding his dad's old-school board, turned pro in 2003 after winning the X Games, Gravity Games, Vans Triple Crown and Slam City Jam. He appears in movies (both skateboard and mainstream), as a character in Tony Hawk video games and on his own MTV reality show, Life of Ryan.