La Jolla man pleads guilty to embezzling $1.9 million from company
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 02/14/17 - 10:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A La Jolla man, who was the accounts payable supervisor for a Sorrento Valley company, has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.9 million from the firm for vacations, sporting event trips, and renting private jets.

Edward K. Abellana, 40, faces up to 23 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 7 before U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino.

Abellana pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making a false tax return by not disclosing the embezzled funds as income. The tax returns in the charges are from 2012 to 2015.

Abellana, who worked for the Argen Corporation in accounts payable from Dec. 2011 until October 2015, remains free on $30,000 bond.

The Argen Corporation has been in business since 1983 and is one of the largest dental gold manufacturing firms in the world, according to its website. They also make metal for dental and medical supplies.

He is expected to be ordered to repay $1.95 million to the Argen Corporation and $661,453 to the Internal Revenue Service. Both Argen and the IRS are listed in court records as victims.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Abellana used the company’s funds to pay for vacations to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Disneyland and a trip to the Super Bowl. Abellana used $70,000 in company funds to charter a private jet to take him and his family and friends to Hawaii, according to prosecutors.

Abellana would use the company’s credit cards to make personal purchases and he intercepted the credit card statements. He used computer software to alter the statements and falsified the company’s books and records by falsely characterizing his personal purchases as legitimate business expenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He also used his position to issue unauthorized checks against the company’s checking account to pay for personal expenses. He issued $162,000 in fraudulent checks, according to prosecutors.
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