From the Orange County District Attorney:
FORMER TREASURER FOR CONGRESSMAN’S ELECTION COMMITTEE SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN JAIL FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $300,000 FROM CAMPAIGN FUNDS AND SEPARATE EMPLOYER
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former volunteer treasurer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election committee was sentenced to one year in county jail today for embezzling over $300,000 from campaign funds and his place of employment at the time.
Jack Wenpo Wu, 46, Newport Beach
Pleaded guilty on Jan. 17, 2017, to:
- 21 felony counts of forgery
- Three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement
- Theft exceeding $100,000
- Aggravated white collar crime over $100,000
- Property loss over $200,000
- One year in county jail
- Five years of formal probation
Circumstances of the Case
In 2004, Wu worked as a volunteer, non-paid treasurer for the Committee to Re-elect Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Committee). Wu paid taxes owed by the Committee, filed Federal Election Committee reports, was the custodian of records, and ran the Committee’s bank accounts.
In 2008, Wu was employed by Russell Fischer Inc. (RFI) as a controller with an annual salary of $70,000. He was responsible for all accounts receivable, all accounts payable, reconciling all of RFI’s bank accounts, and other duties related to payroll.
On March 30, 2012, Wu’s pay at RFI was reduced to $2,000 every two weeks as an independent 1099 contractor. Wu worked two days out of the week at RFI while managing his own accounting company, Wubell Services.
Between June 2012 and September 2013, Wu continued to receive payroll checks from RFI for his original salary and collected $2,000 every pay period as an independent contractor. He took over $71,000 in unauthorized payroll during this time period.
Between July 2013 and August 2013, Wu illegally issued additional RFI independent contractor checks to Wubell Services, in addition to receiving his authorized independent contractor rate of $2,000 per pay period. He received $12,000 in unauthorized independent contractor payments in 2013.
Wu took over $83,000 in unauthorized payments from RFI. In September 2013, RFI fired Wu after discovering the theft. Wu agreed to and made restitution payments to RFI from late 2013 and 2014.
In May 2015, the Committee’s campaign manager attempted to pay a bill with the Committee’s debit card but it was refused. The campaign manager contacted Bank of America to discover that $170,000 was missing from the account. Wu took unauthorized funds from the Committee account totaling over $238,000 and used some of the money to repay restitution he owed RFI.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation investigated this case and arrested Wu on Feb. 2, 2016.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche, Major Fraud Unit.