A former volunteer campaign treasurer for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is scheduled to be arraigned today for embezzling more than $300,000 from the Surfin’ Congressman’s war chest and a Surf City business.
Jack Wenpo Wu, 45, of Newport Beach, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, 21 felony counts of forgery, with sentencing enhancement allegations for theft exceeding $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000.
A conviction could send Wu to state prison for 20 years and four months, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office (OCDA).
A past city council candidate, conservative political activist and guest columnist for the Voice of OC, Daily Pilot and Orange County Register, Wu had been the longtime, non-paid treasurer for the Committee to Re-elect Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in May 2015, when the campaign’s manager tried to pay a bill with the committee debit card but was refused.
The campaign manager contacted Bank of America to discover that $170,000 was missing from the account, and the OCDA investigation discovered Wu allegedly took a total of $238,000 in unauthorized funds from the committee.
Some of that ill-gotten money was used to pay restitution to Russell Fischer Inc., where Wu had been the full-time controller, cut that back to two days a week after launching his own accounting company (Wubell Services)—and was fired from Fischer in September 2013.
That’s because Wu allegedly got caught pulling in his former full-time salary when it was supposed to have been cut significantly, taking $71,000 in unauthorized Fischer payroll from June 2012 through September 2013, according to the OCDA, which further accuses him of diverting another $12,000 in Fischer funds to Wubell. As part of Wu’s firing, he allegedly agreed to repay Fischer.
Following an OCDA investigation, Wu was arrested Tuesday and held on $322,000 bail, and before posting bond he was required to prove the money came from a legal and legitimate source, according to the OCDA.