Vancouver man pleads guilty in theft of $400,000

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Jul. 22—A Vancouver man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to wire fraud after embezzling more than $400,000 from his San Diego, Calif.-based employer, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.

Derick Jonathan Cameron, 37, was employed as the financial controller for RAL Investment Corp. He admitted to abusing his access to the company's accounting software to issue more than 200 unauthorized checks to himself, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Cameron reportedly used the electronic signature of the company's chief financial officer and deposited the checks into his personal bank account. He then altered the records to make it look like the checks were issued to a third-party vendor for business expenses, the news release states.

The company discovered the fraudulent activity in April 2018 and fired Cameron. It reported the fraud to law enforcement after Cameron was unable to make promised repayments on time, according to the news release.

"Mr. Cameron treated his job as financial controller as his own private expense account thinking he deserved more money," FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said in the news release. "His actions put the livelihood of the business in danger and hopefully, (Wednesday's) guilty plea brings a sense of justice and closure to the victim in this case."

Cameron is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain/loss, whichever is greater, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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