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Bonney Lake Resident Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $700,000 From Hotel Group

Hugo Lingat Caingat, Jr., 59, of Bonney Lake was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release for six counts of wire fraud.

The former controller of a hotel group based in Tacoma was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release for six counts of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan on Monday. From 2007 to 2011, Hugo Lingat Caingat, Jr., 59, of Bonney Lake was employed as a controller at Aspen Lodging Group, LLC (ALG). 

The company owns several hotels in the United States including Hotel Murano in Tacoma. From March 2010 to December 2011, Caingat diverted more than $700,000 in income from the hotel group into a dormant bank account. Then he used that account to pay his bills, including significant gambling bills. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said, “the defendant was a man of skill and aptitude who gained the trust of his employer and then abused it.”

According to records filed in the case, Caingat forged documents and signatures to execute his scheme. He created duplicate invoices for inter-company payments totaling nearly $600,000, and eventually routed these payments into the dormant account. From the dormant accounts the money went to pay his credit card bills. Caingat was fired by the hotel group in December 2011 when the theft was discovered. The case was ultimately referred to the FBI. 

When agents interviewed Caingat at his home in May 2011, he indicated he wished to provide information on the scheme. Instead, Caingat purchased a one-way ticket to the Philippines. Caingat was indicted by the grand jury in July 2011, and the process of extraditing Caingat from the Philippines had begun when he voluntarily returned to the Washington State. Caingat pleaded guilty in October 2012.

In asking for a sentence of nearly three years, prosecutors noted that the scheme was sophisticated and lasted nearly two years. 

“The defendant committed his embezzlement through multiple sub-schemes, which involved pre-configuring of a dormant account to pay his bills, transferring funds through multiple accounts, creating false inter-company payments, and forging another employee’s signature,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

Caingat was ordered to pay $750,550 in restitution. That amount includes $50,000 the company spent investigating the embezzlement.

The case was investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.

Richard p Kalse February 12, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Don't steal from where you are emplyed.you will always get caught.
Richard p Kalse February 12, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Don't steal from where you are emplyed.you will always get caught.
Steve Richfield February 12, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Richard, It is one thing to get caught, and quite another to be prosecuted. I once caught a major sophisticated embezzler where I worked, who had been previously employed catching other embezzlers!!! My employer decided NOT to prosecute him because it would show the stock holders that their money was NOT safe, and quite probably topple the entire company as a result. As it turned out, the embezzler took SO much money that it eventually toppled the company anyway. Now, years later, the embezzler has used his ill gotten gains to seed other ventures, and has become wealthy. Embezzlement is only prosecuted when the employer cannot hide it, or when there are no outside investors or lenders to freak out. Here, both of these unusual conditions were met. This guy's BIG mistake is that he simply chose the wrong place to embezzle from. For every one of these that gets prosecuted, that are probably a hundred that don't get prosecuted. Steve

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