IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'
Everything's bigger in Texas … including the fraud, allegedly
A former lead systems engineer with a US software development company has been accused of laundering $2.4m (£1.8m) in an IT consulting scheme.
The office of the Texas Attorney General has filed 11 counts of fraud and money laundering against Albert Shih-Der Chang, who worked at One Technologies, a Dallas-based firm that develops credit-monitoring apps.
According to the indictment [PDF] filed to the Northern Texas US District Court, Chang created a number of bogus IT service and supply companies, then placed fake orders to siphon money from One Technologies.
The scheme is alleged to have been carried out over a six-year period from June of 2008 to August of 2014.
The Attorney General says that Chang, who started with the company as a systems and network administrator, placed purchase orders and invoices for tens of thousands of dollars to fictitious companies he controlled.
By fabricating orders and setting up various PO boxes and forwarding services, Chang was able to dupe One Technologies into believing he was using company accounts to pay for IT consulting services and equipment when, in fact, he was embezzling money into his own accounts.
One such fake company, PC Direct LLC, issued more than a dozen invoices for "IT Consulting" services ranging from $600 to $57,000. All those charges, the Attorney General says, were moved through accounts that eventually paid out into Chang's own bank account.
Additionally, the Attorney General claims, Chang used some of the stolen money to purchase a house in Texas as part of an effort to hide and launder the funds.
Chang is being charged with 10 felony counts of mail fraud and one felony count of money laundering. The mail fraud charges each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the money laundering charge carries a maximum of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. ®