Ex-CEO sentenced to prison for stealing $1.5M from San Diego startup

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The founder and former CEO of a San Diego startup was sentenced Monday to more than four years in custody for bilking his own company out of more than $1.5 million.

Jeffrey Fildey of Las Vegas, 56, created GoFormz Inc. — which provides online mobile forms and reporting products — and began illegally taking money from the company in late 2015 and continued to do so through August 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors allege Fildey used the stolen funds to support a luxurious lifestyle despite earning a six-figure salary. The company lost $1,544,147 as a result, was left in dire financial straits and was forced to let 12 of its 42 employees go.

Fildey pleaded guilty last year to a federal wire fraud charge and was sentenced Monday to 51 months in custody. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,345,897 and forfeit $1,156,001.

“The defendant’s gross abuse of power is shocking on two fronts,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said. “As CEO, he lined his own pockets with more than $1.5 million at the expense of the company he was charged with leading. As an employee of the company, he put the livelihoods of his fellow employees and the future of the company in peril. Let this serve as another reminder — corporate greed has no place in society and those who pursue such a path will face consequences.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Fildey obtained loans — supposedly for the company — then kept the funds for himself, paid for personal expenditures on company credit cards, received cash advances for himself on company credit cards and took money directly from the company’s bank account.

He took three unauthorized loans totaling around $600,000 on behalf of the company and transferred the funds to his bank account each time, withdrew more than $700,000 in cash from the company’s bank account for his personal use and made more than $2,600 in unauthorized purchases on the corporate credit card, prosecutors said.

After payroll bounced in mid-2017, the company discovered it had only around $9,000 left in its bank account, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Fildey resigned from the company shortly after the discovery.

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