|For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF3427
November 29, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DISBARRED ATTORNEY ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF EMBEZZLING OVER $469,000 FOR GAMBLING
SANTA ANA – A former vice president of a title insurance company was arrested today for stealing over $469,000 from his company to spend on gambling. Wayne Martin Fong, 50, Tustin, is charged with seven felony counts of grand theft and five felony counts of money laundering with allegations and sentencing enhancements for causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, Fong faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and four months in state prison. The defendant was arrested today by the Irvine Police Department (IPD) and is being held on $300,000 bail. He must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Fong is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Fong is accused of being hired in 1999 by Fidelity National Title Group (Fidelity) as the Associate Counsel and Vice President. He is accused of being responsible for working with and overseeing contracts with vendors who searched for and obtained missing assets for the company.
The defendant is accused of signing a service agreement on behalf of Fidelity with a vendor, Global Discoveries (Global), in March 2009. In July 2009, Fong is accused of contacting Global, requesting by email to have all payments sent to a different account, and providing them with a different email address, phone number, and mailing address. The defendant is accused of embezzling over $469,000 by having payments intended for Fidelity deposited into his own personal account and using the stolen money for gambling.
One of Fidelity’s vendors became suspicious about the change in email address, bank account number, and mailing address provided to them by Fong. The case was reported to IPD, who investigated this case. At the time of the crime, Fong was a licensed attorney but has since been disbarred. The defendant was also a former police officer in the state of New York.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.