A Kenyan man accused of embezzling Sh3.6 billion from a US company has been extradited to the United States from Costa Rica.
Paul McDaniel alias Edward Martin Karuku is said to have stolen the funds from Hypermedia Systems, a media technology services firm based in downtown Los Angeles.
He then resided in the City of Orange before fleeing to Costa Rica in early 2017.
The monies, the US Attorney General’s office said were used to “pay off tens of millions of dollars of his credit card debt.”
“… arrived this afternoon in Los Angeles after extradition proceedings in Costa Rica. McDaniel is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon in United States District Court,” the statement read in part.
Karuku was initially an independent contractor for and then an employee of E-Times Corp., a downtown Los Angeles-based professional services firm providing accounting assistance to Hypermedia Systems.
“He was assigned to work at Hypermedia as an accounting manager. As part of his job, he would request payments to be made from a Hypermedia account to pay purported Hypermedia vendors,” it further stated.
During the time he was working with Hypermedia, he formed a Nevada corporation with a name similar to one of Hypermedia’s vendors and then opened a bank account. He had complete control of the account.
He then allegedly used his authority as Hypermedia’s accounting manager to approve and direct payments totaling more than Sh3.6 billion to this particular bank account.
“To justify the payments, McDaniel allegedly created false and fictitious invoices on the letterhead of actual Hypermedia vendors, falsely stating that particular goods had been provided to the company. The fraudulent payments were wired to the McDaniel-controlled bank account.
McDaniel used the funds to pay off $23 million in credit card bills and transferred another Sh800 million to his personal bank accounts, according to the indictment. Investigators believe he spent additionally millions of dollars on miscellaneous expenses.”
Each of the 10 counts of wire fraud charges in the indictment carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.
Email your news TIPS to email@example.com or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu