Ex-HP Employee Forfeits Ill-gotten Assets
A former finance planning manager for HP Inc. in Palo Alto pleaded guilty on March 23 to wire fraud, money laundering, and false IRS filings amounting to $5.2 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20.
While acknowledging the existence of a plea deal, the USAO did not reveal what was offered to the 30-year-old Fremont woman in exchange for her guilty plea.
"Scheme and Artifice"
The Feb. 11 "Information" document from the Oakland Division of the USAO charges five counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns.
The charging document details the sophisticated "scheme and artifice to defraud" the disgraced executive used to embezzle from the multinational IT company formerly known as Hewlett-Packard.
Most of the 12-page Information lists 161 luxury items the convicted felon must forfeit. Because some of the items were duplicated, the actual number of high-value assets exceeds 200.
Among the items she must relinquish are:
- 2020 Tesla sedan,
- 2021 Porsche SUV
- $25,403.06 in her bank account
- Dozens of designer handbags
- 4 men's Rolex watches
- A large collection of expensive jewelry, and
- One Louis Vuitton teddy bear.
It is unlikely many of these items will be recovered, so "the United States of America shall be entitled to forfeiture of substitute property," according to the USAO Information.
The maximum statutory sentence on all counts would be 33 years, according to the Daily Beast. However, the USAO press release states, "any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553."
A Guilty plea is sometimes THE best option
Sometimes, a defendant is wise to plead guilty when a trial by jury will inevitably result in a guilty verdict anyway — and result in a much harsher sentence than what the prosecution offers in exchange for a guilty plea in lieu of trial.
Even if pleading guilty, an offender is well-advised to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who can negotiate the best possible plea agreement. The Sigal Law Group of Greater Los Angeles specializes in defending against federal charges. Call 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.