San Diego, California - Stuart Teshima, the former Chief Financial Officer of a large San Diego-based Department of Defense contracting firm, pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $825,000 from the company over the course of eight years. Teshima admitted that he stole the money while he was employed as Vice President, then Senior Vice President, and finally as the CFO of the victim company.
Teshima, who oversaw the company’s credit card program, admitted that he misused his corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses including airfare and other personal travel, jewelry, gifts for family members, furniture, lavish dinners, and even his personal income tax bill.
Before submitting invoices for reimbursement, Teshima would conceal the personal spending by altering his account statements to replace the personal items with fictitious business expenses. He falsely reported to company representatives that the statements he submitted were generated directly from his credit card account, when in fact he altered the records himself before submitting them for reimbursement.
Teshima admitted that he started the fraud in early 2008, and continued to charge thousands of dollars per month of personal expenses until he left his employment in August 2015. By then, he had racked up unauthorized personal charges of more than $825,000.
The victim company serves the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies to provide a wide variety of services including ship building and repair, nuclear operations support, and information technology. It has offices across the country and employs more than 1,000 people.
“Corporate insiders and officers owe a special duty of honesty to their employer and its owners. By misusing his senior executive positions for his own personal gain, former CFO Teshima inflicted serious harm on his employer, his fellow employees and defense contracting community. I am committed to ensuring that professionals who abuse the trust of their employers are held accountable, pay full restitution, and face stiff consequences for their misconduct,” said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy.
“Mr. Teshima used his high ranking positions and violated the trust of his employer in order to feed his personal lifestyle,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI is committed to investigating those insiders who act on their greed and steal money from businesses in our community.”
This case was investigated by the San Diego Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Teshima entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Louisa S. Porter. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 19, 2016 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia.
As part of his plea, Teshima has agreed to pay restitution of $825,341.