A former executive from StyleHaul Inc. was found guilty for having embezzled a total of $22 million from the said company and disbursed almost half of it for his personal expenses and crypto-funded gambling.
The firm StyleHaul Inc., a marketing services provider for social media influencers, had the said former executive as its vice president and controller from October 2015 until March 2019.
As per the report of the U.S. Department of Justice, the defendant Dennis Blieden will spend 22 years in federal prison as a statutory maximum sentence for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the crimes which he admitted of doing.
According to the plea agreement, the former vice president abused his control over the StyleHaul’s bank account and sent money to his personal account. It was also reported that he used the money he stole to pay his own expenses as well as his personal poker games that he funded with crypto-assets bought using the stolen money.
Blieden, who was said to have participated and won poker tournaments, allegedly used the money he stole to buy in his two competitors, with a total of $103,000 and $52,000. He also paid $1,204,000 to other poker gamblers using his personal checks.
In order to fund his online gambling habit, Blieden transferred an amount of $8,473,734 from StyleHaul’s bank account into his crypto-asset account.
As indicated in the court documents, Blieden faked some entries to the book of StyleHaul to cover up his thefts. He disguised the wire transfers to his personal account as valid payments to the firm’s clients, or as equity payment, the StyleHaul owes him. Additionally, he made fake letters, which he said to have come from Western Union, saying that he made wire transfers to a client where the firm owed money from.
The Department of Justice noted that Blieden admitted the crime of stealing $230,000 through the false perk.
StyleHaul’s former vice president additionally faked that his employer owned a beach-side condominium located in Mexico. This claim had him forging the signature of another StyleHaul executive. This brought him to be charged with aggravated identity theft upon himself.
On March 20, Blieden will face the sentencing hearing for his crimes.