Former ABS Seafood CFO indicted in alleged USD 2.7 million embezzlement scheme

The ABS Seafood warehouse in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The former chief financial officer of San Francisco, California, U.S.A.-based ABS Seafood, is facing federal charges for playing a role in an alleged scheme to embezzle USD 2.7 million (EUR 2.5 million) from her former employer.

A federal grand jury has indicted Antonietta Nguyen, 55, charging her with five counts of wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp.

Between 2014 and 2020, when she was fired, Nguyen allegedly used corporate funds to pay for personal expenses that she charged to credit cards, including her own personal credit cards and a corporate card issued on behalf of the company. The indictment, filed 31 May and unsealed 1 June, said Nguyen paid her state property taxes, college tuition fees for a relative, and personal travel expenses with company funds, in addition to making hundreds of thousands of dollars of purchases from luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Goyard, Chanel, and Neiman Marcus. To conceal her actions, Nguyen also allegedly falsified the company’s accounting records, according to the indictment, making false entries in ABS Seafood’s QuickBooks accounting software and then providing them to the company’s shareholders, tax preparers, and auditors.

Nguyen, of Brisbane, California, was charged with five counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting wire fraud. Nguyen was arrested on 1 June in Brisbane and made her initial federal court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim the same day, after which she was released on USD 250,000 (EUR 233,000) bond. Nguyen’s next federal court appearance, a status hearing, is scheduled for 21 July, 2023. Nguyen faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of USD 250,000 plus restitution for each count of wire fraud.

At ABS Seafood, Nguyen was in charge of maintaining the company's account records, preparing financial reports, and applying for and maintaining corporate credit cards. Nguyen was also a minority shareholder at ABS, which was founded in 1965 and supplies sushi bars, restaurants, and grocery stores in California’s Bay Area with fresh seafood. It also offers seafood direct to consumers via its Truefish retail website.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

Photo courtesy of ABS Seafood


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