Case # 16CF0269
Date: February 2, 2016
FORMER TREASURER FOR CONGRESSMAN’S ELECTION COMMITTEE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $300,000 FROM CAMPAIGN FUNDS AND SEPARATE EMPLOYER
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former volunteer treasurer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election committee is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for embezzling over $300,000 from campaign funds and business the where the defendant worked. Jack Wenpo Wu, 45, Newport Beach, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, 21 felony counts of forgery, with sentencing enhancement allegations for theft exceeding $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and four months in state prison. He was arrested today and is being held on $322,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
In 2004, Wu is accused of working as a volunteer, non-paid treasurer, for the Committee to Re-elect Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Committee). Wu is accused of paying taxes owed by the Committee, filing Federal Election Committee reports, be the custodian of the records, and run the Committee’s bank accounts.
In 2008, Wu was employed by Russell Fischer Inc. (RFI) as a controller with an annual salary of $70,000. He is accused of being responsible for paying all accounts receivables, all accounts payables, reconciling all of their bank accounts, and other duties related to payroll.
On March 30, 2012, Wu’s pay at RFI was reduced to $2,000 every two weeks as an independent 1099 contractor. Wu is accused of working two days out of the week at RFI while managing his own accounting company, Wubell Services.
Between June 2012 and September 2013, Wu is accused of continuing to receive payroll checks from RFI for his original salary and collecting $2,000 every pay period as an independent contractor. He is accused of taking over $71,000 in unauthorized payroll during this time period.
Between July 2013 and August 2013, Wu is accused of illegally issuing additional RFI independent contractor checks to Wubell Services, in addition to receiving his authorized independent contractor rate of $2,000 per pay period. He is accused of receiving $12,000 in unauthorized independent contractor payments in 2013.
Wu is accused of taking over $83,000 in unauthorized payments. In September 2013, RFI fired Wu after discovering the theft. Wu is accused of agreeing to and making restitution payments to RFI from late 2013 and 2014.
In May 2015, the Committee’s campaign manager attempted to pay a bill with the Committee’s debit card but it was refused. The campaign manager contacted Bank of America to discover that $170,000 was missing from the account. Wu is accused of taking unauthorized funds from the Committee account totaling over $238,000 and using some of the money to repay restitution he owed RFI.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation investigated this case and arrested the defendant today, Feb. 2, 2016.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.