A man pleaded guilty Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to three years in prison for stealing more than $200,000 while working as a manager at an electronic instruments manufacturer’s Irvine plant.
Officials with Ametek realized in December 2015 a piece of equipment worth $181,154.77 never arrived at its destination in Mexico, triggering questions that led to an audit, according to Irvine Police Department Detective Britt Vickner.
Instead of being sent to a location in Mexico, the equipment was sent to a company Christian Hernandez had added to Ametek’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, Vickner said.
Hernandez doctored a document to make it appear the equipment was sent to Mexico as intended, Vickner said.
When initially confronted, Hernandez said 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.
Hernandez, 44, of Rocklin, near Sacramento, pleaded guilty to grand theft, six counts of forgery, and five counts of defrauding another over $400, all felonies, and admitted sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime between $100,000 to $400,000 and property damage exceeding $65,000. Multiple other felony counts of forgery and defrauding another over $400 were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Hernandez was given credit for 632 days behind bars, according to court records.
Hernandez stole from Ametek while working in its Irvine facility from 2015 through 2016, Vickner said last year in a motion to increase Hernandez’s bail.