|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF0741
May 7, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
PAYROLL BOOKKEEPER CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLING $358,000 FROM EMPLOYER TO SPEND ON MALE ESCORT, DRUGS, AND HIGH-END LAS VEGAS HOTELS
FULLERTON – A payroll bookkeeper was convicted today of stealing more than $358,000 from his employer and spending it on drugs, Las Vegas hotel suites, sporting event trips, and retaining the full-time services of a male escort, whom he met online. Gregory Lynn Stockfish, 45, Azusa, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of computer access and fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and sentencing enhancements for excess taking over $200,000. He was sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay $358,658 in restitution.
In early 2008, Stockfish began working as the payroll bookkeeper at Health in Motion LLC, a specialty product company in Fullerton that designs and manufactures fitness equipment and patio swings. Between Feb. 25, 2008, and June 12, 2008, Stockfish embezzled $358,658 from his employer by setting up three direct deposit accounts using the company’s computer payroll system and diverting money into the personal accounts of non-employee friends. The friends included a roommate and male escort. Stockfish also committed identity theft by setting up a payroll account in the name of an unsuspecting company co-owner and diverting the money into a personal account.
Stockfish used the stolen $358,000 on extravagant personal spending including the full-time services of a male escort, whom he had met online, drugs, weekends in Las Vegas in high-end hotel suites, and flying with friends to Boston for one of the 2008 National Basketball Association Finals game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The defendant also laundered approximately $100,000 into an investment toward the purchase of a franchise Tommy Pastrami restaurant.
Health in Motion discovered the fraud in June 2008 after conducting an audit when Stockfish failed to show up for work and never returned. The defendant had been the only one monitoring the books during his employment.
In addition to his Orange County case, Stockfish has a pending criminal case for an $18 million embezzlement scheme in Los Angeles County.
Deputy District Attorney Chuck Lawhorn of the White Collar Crime Team is prosecuting this case.