Beginning last October, an Orange County accounting department boss in a collapsing marriage and in personal debt embezzled $225,500 from a family-owned packaging company.
To violate federal wire fraud laws, controller Kevin Hess created a bank account that appeared similar in name to the Paper Mart Industrial & Retail Packaging's legitimate account and diverted corporate funds.
According to court records, he used the money to buy Los Angeles Angels tickets, shoes, clothes, gym membership and to pay rent, car loan, home improvement projects, income taxes as well as make charitable donations and take a Las Vegas vacation.
Hess–born in 1970 and a past L.A. Fitness employee who attended Brigham Young University as well as Golden West College–was bold; he transferred funds as much as $30,000 at one time to his own account.
We know all this because the number cruncher was caught at work, admitted guilt and turned himself into the FBI.
Authorities seized more than $42,000 in unspent company funds, according to court records.
This month, Hess signed a guilty plea with Assistant United States Attorney Jeannie M. Joseph.
He remains out of custody.
The statutory maximum punishment for the crimes is 20 years, but the cooperation will substantially mitigate any sentence at a future hearing inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.