Exec Embezzles $22M From ‘Influencer’ Marketing Firm, Spends Nearly Half on Crypto Gambling
crazyfrog last edited by
A U.S. man has pleaded guilty to having embezzled millions from his former employer and splashing the funds on personal expenses and crypto-funded poker.
Dennis Blieden committed the crimes while an executive at StyleHaul Inc. – a firm that provided marketing services for social media “influencers.” According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, Blieden faces a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison after admitting wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
From October 2015 to March 2019, Blieden was controller and vice president of accounting and finance for StyleHaul, where he "abused" his control of company bank accounts to send money to his personal bank account, a plea agreement says. He used the stolen money to pay for personal expenses and his professional poker life, which he funded with cryptocurrency bought with the firm's money.
Said to have taken part in, and won, poker tournaments, Blieden apparently used company money to buy in to two competitions with $52,000 and $103,000, respectively. $1,204,000 was also paid in personal checks to other poker players. He also gambled online, transferring $8,473,734 of StyleHaul cash to his crypto accounts to fund that habit.
In order to cover up the thefts, Blieden created fake entries in StyleHaul’s books disguising wire transfers to his account as legitimate payments to clients, or as equity payments owed to him by the firm, court documents indicate. He also faked letters supposedly from Western Union suggesting he'd made wire transfers to a client who was owed money.
The former exec further brought the charge of aggravated identity theft upon himself by faking that his employer kept a beach-side condo in Mexico for use by clients and staff, which involved him forging the signature of another exec at StyleHaul. He admitted stealing $230,000 through the fake perk, says the DoJ.
Blieden will face a sentencing hearing on March 20.
hola55 last edited by
There's always a way to thieve. And also a way to get caught.
supermario last edited by
He managed to get quite far.
elixir last edited by
That's a big sum of he took.
bell last edited by
Millions of dollars... And all on gambling. Just wow.
harrypotter last edited by
Poker? It really is a popular game. Those are huge sums of money he used to fund his bad habit.
Ah, crypto on poker. Poker, the bane of all money when addiction to gambling kicks in.
@hola55 Not if you're careful enough. Pretty sure there are those who managed to escape.
@supermario But still got caught in the end.
@elixir He's not a thief for nothing.
@bell The nerve of some people to use what doesn't belong to them to do such things.
@harrypotter Gambling never takes small amounts of money.