A 28-year-old man has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to six months in jail for stealing nearly $180,000 while working for a construction company in Brea, according to court records obtained Tuesday.

Luis Edwin Perez, who turns 29 Aug. 6, pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of grand theft by embezzlement with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime between $100,000 to $500,000.

As part of his plea deal eight other counts of grand theft by embezzlement were dropped.

Perez, who paid back the $179,280.83 he stole, can avoid any more jail time if he completes 30 days of Caltrans service, according to court records. He was given credit for 42 days behind bars and will be placed on three years of formal probation.

Perez used duplicate fake invoices since February 2019 “with a loss totaling $179,280.83” to Peterson Brothers Construction Inc., according to Brea Police Department Detective Alfred Rodriguez.

The embezzlement was discovered in January 2020 when an accountant noticed a payment made to Ticketmaster and alerted the company’s controller, Rodriguez said.

Perez used the money for personal purchases from Ticketmaster, Apple, Seatgeek and Stubhub, Rodriguez said.

When confronted with the “unusual transactions,” Perez abruptly resigned “and left the building and has not returned,” Rodriguez said when charges were filed.

“Perez has sent an email to the company’s CEO apologizing and explaining how he did this and also admitted his actions to the original Brea (police) investigator,” Rodriguez said.

Perez began working for the company in 2015 as an accounts payable administrator, Rodriguez said.

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