|For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF2093
July 17, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
CPA CHARGED WITH STEALING $2.7 MILLION FROM PET INSURANCE COMPANY AND HIDING MONEY IN INTERNATIONAL BANK ACCOUNTS
FULLERTON – An accountant faces arraignment tomorrow for stealing approximately $2.7 million from a pet insurance company and transferring the money into international bank accounts. Stephen Anthony Frlekin, 58, El Segundo, will be arraigned on an amended complaint for 103 felony counts of money laundering, 48 felony counts of computer access and fraud, one felony count of grand theft, and white collar sentencing enhancements reflecting the amount of taking. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 114 years and eight months in prison if convicted. He is being held on $2 million and must prove the money is from a legitimate source in order to post bail. Frlekin is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, July 18, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Frlekin, a Certified Public Accountant since 1980, had been employed as an accounting manager with Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in Brea since June 2006. Between February and June 2008, Frlekin is accused of stealing approximately $2.7 million from VPI by transferring money from the company bank account into his own personal account. He is accused of laundering as much as $1 million in a 24-hour period. After diverting money into his personal account, Frlekin is accused of wire-transferring the majority of the funds, more than $2 million, to various international bank accounts that he had opened in Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. He is accused of cashing out the remainder of the stolen money and wire-transferring the cash to unknown associates throughout the world.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Frauds Unit is prosecuting this case.