Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
CPA SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS STATE PRISON FOR
STEALING $2.7 MILLION FROM PET INSURANCE COMPANY AND HIDING MONEY IN
INTERNATIONAL BANK ACCOUNTS
SANTA ANA – A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) was sentenced today to 12 years in state prison for stealing approximately $2.7 million from a pet insurance company and transferring the money into international bank accounts. Stephen Anthony Frlekin, 60, El Segundo, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 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. In addition to the 12 years in state prison, which he will serve without credit for time served, Frlekin was ordered to pay almost $2.7 million in restitution.
Frlekin, a CPA 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 stole approximately $2.7 million from VPI by transferring money from the company bank account into his own personal account. He laundered as much as $1 million in a 24-hour period.
After diverting money into his personal account, Frlekin wire-transferred 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 cashed out the remainder of the stolen money and wire-transferred the cash to unknown associates throughout the world.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Frauds Unit prosecuted this case.