The former chief financial officer of an Irvine-company that helped tech giants move products between countries was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in federal prison for embezzling $15 million from his employer.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford in Santa Ana also ordered a $15 million restitution payment from Jean Joseph Ibrahim, formerly of Trustin Technology.
The government has already seized nearly $1.3 million of it from Ibrahim, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Sagel told City News Service.
Trustin Technology was a "supply chain management solution provider" for such companies as Apple, IBM, Hewlett Packard and Buy.com. That's "was" because its website is now off-line and business databases indicate there are no company officers.
This disappearance may owe to the cesspool of dirty dealing that went on there. Co-owner and chief executive officer William McMahon pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud for a kickback scheme involving Panasonic, which cooperated with the feds. The Norco 47-year-old was sentenced to four months in prison.
McMahon was indicted after Ibrahim, who pleaded guilty to a wire-fraud count on Sept. 10. Trustin executives had contacted federal authorities on March 8, 2012, with suspicions Ibrahim embezzled millions from the company before resigning the month before. He'd worked there about four years, earning $180,000 annually.
When confronted by company officials, Ibrahim blamed Trustin's cash-flow issues on delinquent payments from multiple clients. But an FBI investigation revealed he moved money clients paid the company into his personal accounts. He then used the funds for gambling, commodities market trading, household bills and new suits, shoes and luxury vacations.
He left the country shortly after he resigned, taking trips to Switzerland, Turkey and Lebanon and, according to one of his emails, he bought a villa in a suburb of Tehran, Iran, according to the feds.
He was stopped by U.S. Customs in February, when about 40 gold bars worth more than $1 million were found in his luggage, but he was allowed to keep them, according to LA's FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
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The federal complaint indicates Ibrahim tried to negotiate with Trustin executives to keep from being prosecuted when the fraud was discovered, promising to return some money. Instead, he was arrested in April upon landing at JFK in New York from Greece.
His forthrightness since he was popped was obviously appreciated by Judge Guilford, who noted the defendant "re-found" his religion so, "I think it would be appropriate for him to be home for Christmas." Guilford also encouraged Ibrahim to remember his victims.
He must report to federal prison by Jan. 3, the same day McMahon is due.