|For Immediate Release
April 24th, 2002
|Contact:||DDA Mark Sevigny
BUSINESSMAN CHARGED WITH FORGING DOCUMENTS FOR EMBEZZLEMENT TRIAL
NEWPORT BEACH — A Laguna Beach businessman who was caught forging court documents while defending himself in a civil lawsuit was charged today with 18 felony counts stemming from that incident.
Prosecutors also issued an arrest warrant for Jon E. Jenett (1-14-52), who was the former chief financial officer of the now-defunct Mission Electronics in Irvine. The company sold computer chips and processors.
Jenett worked as the CFO during the 1990s. However, the company began to have financial problems in the summer of 1998. Owner Thomas Hopper decided to close down the company, and in the process of closing out the company records, he concluded that Jenett had embezzled more than $2 million. Hopper sued Jenett in 1998 and reported the alleged theft to Irvine police. Police served a search warrant on Jenett’s home on May 26, 1999 and seized his computer. Irvine detectives began working with the District Attorney’s High Tech Crime Unit in an effort to retrieve evidence from the computer. They found several documents on his computer that were cut and pasted to show money transfers between Hopper and Jenett.
Meanwhile, the civil case was moving toward trial and the plaintiff filed a motion to attach Jenett’s assets. Jenett responded to the motion by submitting copies of the altered documents and signing a declaration under penalty of perjury that the documents were true and accurate copies of the originals.
The following day, April 29, 1999, Jenett testified under oath and penalty of perjury at a deposition for the upcoming trial that the documents were true copies of memos and payroll documents that had gone back and forth between himself and Hopper.
Participants in civil lawsuits are supposed to sign transcripts of their depositions and submit them to the court. Jenett did not do this.
Prosecutors told the plaintiff about the forgeries and Jenett agreed to settle the lawsuit for $8 million and to move out of his home because he lived near Hopper.
Jenett was charged with five counts of perjury, six counts of submitting false documents to a court and seven counts of attempted perjury for lying during the deposition. Perjury could not be charged in that instance because Jenett did not sign the transcript. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 14 years, 4 months in prison.