embezzlement

Startup Founder Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $1.5M from San Diego Company

The embezzling began soon after GoFormz obtained its first round of venture capital funding in 2015

NBC 5 News

The former CEO of a San Diego startup faces up to two decades imprisonment and at least $250,000 in fines for embezzling $1.5 million from his own company, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Las Vegas resident Jeffrey Fildey, 56, who started the e-forms company GoFormz Inc. in 2012, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said for years, Fildey would obtain loans on his company's behalf that he then used for himself, put personal expenses on company cards and, "simply (stole) money directly from the company’s bank account."

In one instance on Sept. 1, 2016, Fildey obtained a business loan in the amount of $136,250 for GoFormz but the same day wired the entire amount to his personal bank account, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Wasserman. The loan payments were made by GoFormz.

The embezzling began soon after GoFormz obtained its first round of venture capital funding in 2015. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the company obtained $3 million from investors in about a month.

Fildey is next scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns for sentencing on November 9, 2020.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigations assisted the U.S. Attorney's Office in prosecuting the fraud scheme.

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