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Washington man pleads guilty to wire fraud

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Vancouver, Washington man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to wire fraud after embezzling more than $400,000 from his San Diego, California-based employer, according to federal prosecutors.

Derick Jonathan Cameron, 37, worked as the financial controller for RAL Investment Corp. He admitted to abusing his access to the company’s accounting software to issue more than 200 unauthorized checks to himself, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said in a news release.

Cameron reportedly used the electronic signature of the company’s chief financial officer and deposited checks into his personal bank account, The Columbian reported. He then altered the records to make it look like the checks were issued to a third-party vendor for business expenses, prosecutors said.

The company discovered the fraudulent activity in 2018 and fired Cameron. It reported the fraud to law enforcement after Cameron was unable to make promised repayments on time, according to the news release.

It was not immediately known if Cameron has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

Cameron is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain/loss, whichever is greater, prosecutors said.

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