LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A former supervisor at Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution for engaging in a scheme to embezzle from the car dealership.
David Delgado, 37, of Laguna Niguel, was sentenced by United States District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler in Santa Ana. In addition to the prison term, Judge Stotler ordered Delgado to pay $1,053,970 in restitution, of which almost $100,000 is due immediately.
Delgado was the supervisor of temporary employees at the auto dealership for more than seven years. When he pleaded guilty earlier this year, Delgado admitted that over a span of at least three years he created bogus time sheets for temporary workers and then pocketed at least half of the money.
The Mercedes-Benz dealership employed temporary workers who were employees of Manpower, Inc. and Volt Management Corporation. Delgado was the only employee at the dealership responsible for monitoring and approving the hours worked by temporary employees. Delgado first became engaged in the embezzlement scheme in 2004, when he was approached by a temporary employee working at the dealership. The temporary employee offered to give Delgado half of his paycheck if Delgado arranged to have the temporary employee remain on the payroll. Delgado agreed and the temporary employee stopped working at the Mercedes-Benz dealership. Instead of notifying Manpower or the dealership that the temporary worker was no longer working, Delgado approved phony hour entries for the temporary worker. After the temporary worker was paid for these false hour entries, he gave half of his paycheck amount to Delgado.
Over the next few years, Delgado recruited additional temporary employees from both Manpower and Volt, and he created completely fictitious temporary employees. These temporary workers, if they existed, were paid for hundreds of hours that they did not work. In return for approving the false hours worked, Delgado took half of their paychecks.
Delgado used the proceeds from the fraudulent scheme to make payments and purchases for his personal benefit, such as making mortgage payments on his home, making home repairs, paying bills and purchasing computers.
Delgado’s fraudulent conduct initially was discovered through an internal investigation at Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel, which immediately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As part of Delgado’s agreement to cooperate with the investigation, he immediately turned over almost $100,000 to the FBI. Judge Stotler today ordered that these funds be turned over immediately to the dealership. Delgado pleaded guilty in June to two counts of wire fraud for bilking his employer.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Robb Adkins
Release No. 07-148