Former hotel executive will serve two years for $700K embezzlement

A former hotel controller from Bonney Lake, Washington, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $700,000 largely through a duplicate payments scheme.

Hugo Caingat moved the embezzled funds from Aspen Lodging Group through wire transfers and duplicate payment operations for less than two years in 2010 and 2011 before his crime was discovered. $600,000 of the money stolen were deposited to Caingat's independent bank accounts in the form of fraudulent checks mirroring those used for internal company transactions. The accused embezzler fled to the Philippines, according to an official report, after he was initially questioned by the FBI in May 2012. He returned to the United States on his own as the extradition process commenced, and the statement says Caingat pleaded guilty last October.

Prosecutors pushed for a three year sentence in the case, claiming the advanced level of organization in Caingat's embezzling and the time it spanned was enough to put him behind bars for as long as possible. The accounts payable recovery will depend on repayment by the former controller, who was ordered to give up $750,550 in the sentence – enough to cover both the money stolen and the funds put toward the FBI investigation.

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