A former accounting manager accused of embezzling more than $36 million from a Los Angeles company was returned to the Southland from Costa Rica Thursday to face charges of wire fraud.

Paul McDaniel, 42, of Orange, fled to Costa Rica in early 2017 but was arrested later that year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

McDaniel, also known as Edward Martin Karuku, is accused of embezzling funds from Hypermedia Systems Inc., a media-technology services firm, prosecutors said. McDaniel worked for an accounting contractor employed by Hypermedia.

Prosecutors said that as part of his job, McDaniel was charged with making payments to Hypermedia vendors. According to the indictment, McDaniel formed a corporation using a name similar to one of Hypermedia’s vendors, then directed more than $36 million in funds to shell company and created bogus invoices on letterhead of actual Hypermedia vendors to justify the expenses.

McDaniel allegedly used the stolen funds to pay off $23 million in credit card debt, and transferred another $8 million to his personal bank accounts. He was arrested in Costa Rica in 2017 and remained in custody there pending extradition to Los Angeles.

He is facing 10 counts of wire fraud, each of which carries up to 20 years in federal prison.

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