James Harry Fluch Accused of Embezzling $822,000 From Buddy's Business to Fund Lavish Lifestyle
James Harry Fluch, 64, could get up to 114 years and eight months in state prison if convicted of the 156 felony counts against him.
The charges center on computer access and fraud with sentencing enhancements for property loss over $200,000 and aggravated while collar crime over $100,000.
|Fluch allegedly used ill-gotten money to pay for his FasTrak transponder.|
Checkpoint Communications Inc. is a licensed communications wiring contractor specializing in the design and installation of premises wiring systems for voice and data communications. The company's headquarters is located in Southern California with operations throughout the Western United States. Checkpoint Communications was established in 1987 by J.A. "Andy" Shoaff, a data processing executive with more than 30 years of experience, and James Shoaff, a certified voice/data communications network design engineer.
Fluch's role managing Checkpoint's finances had him overseeing bank accounts, payroll and bookkeeping. He is accused of transferring money out of the company's escrow account and into his personal bank account 156 times between Jan. 19, 2006, and Jan. 14, 2010, allegedly hiding the transactions by over-reporting payroll. Fluch is accused of using the money he stole to pay off his seven credit cards, cover cash advances on those cards and to balance out about $13,000 on his wife's American Express card.
A company audit this past January exposed Fluch's transfers. The Irvine Police Department was alerted and an investigation was launched. In the meantime, Fluch had moved to Portland, Oregon. He was arrested at his home there on May 9 and extradited first to Sacramento before continuing on to Orange County.
He was being held at Orange County Jail on $822,000 bail. He was required to prove the money came from legal and legitimate source before posting bond.