former Newport Beach commercial real estate auditor arrested on complaint he allegedly stole $2.5 million from his employer | USAO-CDCA

SANTA ANA, California – A former Orange County commercial real estate executive was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint alleging a decade-long scheme in which he stole $2.5 million by submitting fictitious invoices for companies controlled by his family and friends whose services were never performed.

Varun Aggarwal, 40, of Irvine, Calif., was arrested this morning by FBI special agents. He is scheduled to make his first appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana.

Aggarwal is charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.

According to an affidavit filed with the lawsuit that was unsealed today, beginning at least in 2012 and running through January 2022, Aggarwal used his position at Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors to embezzle money from his employer.

During his ten-year tenure at KBS, Aggarwal worked in the company’s internal audit department, rising to the level of director of the department. As a member of the company’s accounting group, Aggarwal was well versed in KBS policies and procedures for supplier payments. Aggarwal used his knowledge of KBS policies and procedures to get his friends and family to do subcontract work for his bands at KBS.

After several of these companies became approved vendors for KBS, Aggarwal used these approved vendors to submit fraudulent invoices for consulting services that were not performed for the company, according to the complaint. He then routed the payments on KBS’s invoices to his own bank accounts – through the approved suppliers – sometimes without informing the suppliers that the invoices and the payments on the invoices were for his benefit.

Aggarwal resigned from KBS in January 2022 after the company began investigating the bills, the affidavit states.

A review of company, bank and tax records show that Aggarwal, using about six vendors, stole about $2,601,246 from KBS between about January 1, 2012 and about January 13, 2022, the affidavit says. .

A complaint contains allegations that an accused has committed a crime. All accused are presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

If convicted on both counts, Aggarwal faces a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in federal prison.

The FBI investigated this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel of the Santa Ana Branch is prosecuting the case.

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