SAN JOSE – 14 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Netwo…

SAN JOSE – 14 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Lawrence B. Teodoro, formerly of Menlo Park and Atherton, pleaded guilty late yesterday to embezzling from his former employer, Timeless Toys, Inc., of Hayward, California. In pleading guilty, Mr. Teodoro admitted that he used his position as chief financial officer of the company to embezzle up to $1 million from a company account.

Mr. Teodoro, 40, was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 3, 2004. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1343.

According to the indictment, Mr. Teodoro carried out the fraud in part by maintaining a secret operating account without the knowledge of the company’s founder and chief executive officer, Harold Nizamian. Mr. Teodoro transferred funds from the secret account to his own personal bank account and used the stolen money to pay for personal expenses and expenses associated with his outside business ventures, “Teodoro Ventures, Ltd.” and “The Teodoro Group of Companies.”

According to an earlier affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint in the case, the scheme came to light when Bank of America, where the “secret” account was held, notified Mr. Nizamian directly (rather than Mr. Teodoro) that the account was overdrawn. Mr. Nizamian, who until then believed that Mr. Teodoro had closed the Bank of America account two years earlier, became suspicious and began to investigate, ultimately uncovering the scheme.

Mr. Teodoro, who remains free on a $100,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 19, 2005, at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. District Court Judge James Ware in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense is five years imprisonment and $250,000 fine or twice the value of the gain or loss, whichever is greater, plus restitution to the victim. However, any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, Title 18, United States Code, section 3553.

Dave Callaway is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Assistant Tracey Andersen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

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