Califorina Auditor With Gambling Addiction Gets Prison for $2.7m Embezzlement

  • Judge Carney sentenced Varun Aggarwal to 33 months in prison for wire fraud
  • From January 2012 to January 2022, Aggarwal stole $2.7m from KBS Realty Advisors
  • Aggarwal stated via his attorney he’d been severely addicted to gambling, alcohol
Man carrying briefcase with money inside
A California judge sentenced a former auditor to 33 months in prison for embezzling over $2.7m. [Image:]

Stole from his firm

US District Judge Cormac J. Carney has sentenced the former auditor of a commercial real estate agency to 33 months in federal prison for embezzling over $2.7m from the firm.

severe gambling and alcohol addiction”

The Los Angeles Times on Monday reported that ex-KBS Realty Advisors auditor Varun Aggarwal, 42, had been battling with a “severe gambling and alcohol addiction for about a decade” until he resigned from the firm he had embezzled.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (USAO-CDCA) took to X last week to share Aggarwal’s sentence:

Along with nearly three years in prison, Judge Carney also ordered Aggarwal to pay $2,729,718 in restitution.

Aggarwal, from the Californian city of Irvine, pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud.

Rise and Fall

A USAO-CDCA news release revealed how Aggarwal used his position of trust with Orange County-based KBS Realty Advisors to embezzle the firm.

Aggarwal joined a Newport County branch of KBS in 2008 as an employee in the internal auditing department, rising to department director until his resignation from the firm in 2022. From January 2012 to January 2022, Aggarwal used his insider knowledge to embezzle KBS’s money.

used the approved vendors to produce fraudulent invoices

The former auditor used his knowledge of KBS’s vendor payment policies and procedures to ensure his “friends and family serve as approved vendors” in contracted work for the real estate firm. Aggarwal then used the approved vendors to produce fraudulent invoices for consulting services that were either not performed or invoiced at inflated costs.

Aggarwal would then siphon KBS payments on the invoices into his own bank via the approved vendors, often without telling them that the “invoices and the payments on the invoices were for his own benefit.”

Using this ruse, Aggarwal pocketed over $2.7m of money that KBS had invoiced vendors in good faith.

He resigned in January 2022 when KBS started probing his dodgy invoices.

Severe addictions

According to the Times, Aggarwal stated through his attorney on Monday that he’d been severely addicted to gambling and alcohol for almost ten years up until his resignation. He later joined both Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

wasn’t “driven to commit his crimes by need”

Prosecutors however stated that the ex-auditor wasn’t “driven to commit his crimes by need, desperation, or the inability to legitimately earn a living.”

The memorandum added that Aggarwal, despite his “first-rate education and a well-compensated professional career chose to commit the underlying criminal conduct causing great losses and abusing his position of trust.”

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