U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.
U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

A convicted embezzler who became director of finance at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Long Beach pleaded guilty Friday to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from the theft of millions of dollars from the aviation company.

Marvin J. Caukin, 66, of Calabasas pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John F. Walter to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, which carries a potential 20-year prison term. Sentencing is expected in mid-May.

Caukin previously served 33 months in federal prison after being convicted in 1994 of stealing more than $2 million from USA Petroleum Corp. in Agoura Hills.

According to a three-count complaint filed in Los Angeles last month, the thefts were committed between 2001 and 2013.

The defendant and his co-conspirators created phony invoices and submitted them to Gulfstream for payment. After Caukin, in his capacity as finance director, approved payment, they would receive the checks, usually at rented mailboxes, deposit them and use the money to pay for personal expenses.

At least $2.4 million of the stolen money was used by Caukin to pay for homes in Calabasas and Toluca Lake, prosecutors said.

As part of his plea agreement, Caukin will forfeit the homes and about $70,000 in cash and cashier’s checks.

In June 1994, Caukin pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud in the USA Petroleum case.

About four months after he was released from prison in that case, Caukin reportedly lied on his job application with Gulfstream. He was fired from the company in 2013.

City News Service

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