A man accused of stealing more than $200,000 while working as a manager at an electronic instruments manufacturer’s Irvine plant pleaded not guilty Monday to nearly two dozen felony charges.
Christian Hernandez, 43, of Rocklin, near Sacramento, was charged in August with one count of grand theft, 11 counts of forgery and 10 counts of fraud, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime between $100,000 and $500,000 and property damage exceeding $65,000.
Irvine police detective Britt Vickner alleged in a motion to increase Hernandez’s bail to $266,854.77 that the defendant stole from Ametek while working in its Irvine facility from 2015 through 2016.
In December 2015, company officials realized a piece of equipment worth $181,154.77 never arrived at its destination in Mexico, triggering questions that led to an audit, according to Vickner.
Instead of being sent to a location in Mexico, the equipment was sent to a company Hernandez had added to the company’s list of suppliers, which had the same address as the defendant’s then-home in Foothill Ranch, Vickner alleged. The company, Catalyst and Hobble, was issued $85,700 in payments, the investigator said.
Hernandez is accused of doctoring a document to make it appear the equipment was sent to Mexico as intended, Vickner said.
When initially confronted, Hernandez allegedly said that some missing office equipment was ordered for a new employee. Then, when he admitted he had some of the equipment, he went to his car and returned two computer monitors and then left work, according to the complaint.
Bail was set at $200,000 for Hernandez, who was arrested last Tuesday and is due back in court on Dec. 10 for a pretrial hearing.
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