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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Grand Theft Criminal Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay $1.37 Million in Restitution

Monday, August 15, 2011
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that Richard John Schwalbe of Mill Valley was sentenced last week for embezzling at least $1.3 million from his employer and ordered to pay approximately $1.3 million in restitution and to serve two years, eight months in state prison.

Schwalbe, a former employee of Solectron Corporation, now Flextronics International Ltd., was convicted of two counts of grand theft. One count was for the embezzlement of certain funds that were owed to his employer into accounts that he controlled. The second count was for his acts in taking over and collecting in his personal account a debt owed by Insiphil, a Singapore based company, to Solectron.

“Embezzlement is a serious crime and comes with serious consequences,” Attorney General Harris said. “White-collar criminals must be held to the same standards as everyone else.”

A Department of Justice investigation found that Schwalbe had taken advantage of his position at Solectron Corporation to collect in his own account over $800,000 in obligations owed to Solectron. In a second scheme, Schwalbe was responsible for collecting an obligation owed to Solectron by Insphil. Misusing his position as credit manager, Schwalbe renegotiated the obligation owed by Insiphil, directed Solectron personnel to write down the obligation, and then caused Insiphil to continue making payments to an account controlled by Schwalbe. In total, Schwalbe embezzled more than $1.3 million from Solectron.

Schwalbe entered no contest pleas to two counts of grand theft, admitted taking more than $1.3 million, and admitted committing two or more related offenses involving theft. He was arrested on January 26, 2010 and entered his no contest pleas on June 24, 2011.

The case was prosecuted by Ronald D. Smetana, Senior Assistant Attorney General of the Special Crimes Unit. Special Agent Hal Berman and Investigative Auditor Robert Smith also assisted with the case. The case is People of the State of California v. Richard John Schwalbe, No. C1066702 (Santa Clara Superior Court).

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