Former executive for Ruiz Foods pleads guilty to embezzlement

The ex-marketing director for California-based Ruiz Foods pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling close to $500,000 from the company over a period of five years.

According to court documents, an accounts payable audit revealed that George Jankowski created false invoices for marketing services that were never rendered, while at the same time billing the company for said services. Because of his position as marketing director and a lack of checks and balances within the organization, he authorized the payments and then had the checks mailed to addresses provided by him. The checks were also sometimes given to him directly, indicates the Department of Justice.

Forrest Chandler, the company's chief financial officer, said that the activities only affected the company itself.

"At no time were any of our customers, vendors, and suppliers involved or defrauded," said Chandler, as quoted by the Visalia Times-Delta.

Court documents report that Jankowski was involved in the illegal activity from December 2004 to July 2010, during which time he embezzled approximately $448,366.

Jankowski entered a guilty plea to six counts of mail fraud and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced on August 6.

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