Ex-treasurer for O.C. congressman charged in alleged $300,000 embezzlement scandal

A former volunteer treasurer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was arrested Tuesday on suspicion that he embezzled more than $200,000 from the congressman's campaign chest, prosecutors said.

Jack Wenpo Wu, 45, of Newport Beach, was also accused of embezzling more than $80,000 from a former employer, the Orange County district attorney said.

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Wu was charged with three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement and 21 felony counts of forgery. He was also charged with aggravated white-collar crime of more than $100,000, property loss of more than $200,000 and other charges.

Wu faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and four months in state prison if convicted.

Prosecuters alleged that in 2012 Wu began collecting two salaries from his employer Russell Fischer Inc., a car care company. Wu worked as a financial controller.

Authorities alleged that on top of his regular salary, Wu was also collecting pay as an independent contractor from Russell Fischer. 

In total, prosecutors alleged that between June 2012 and September 2013, he embezzeled about $83,000 from the company.

Wu was fired and agreed to repay Russell Fischer for the alleged thefts. 

During that time, Wu also worked as a non-paid treasurer for the Committee to Re-elect Congressman Dan Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), prosecutors said.

They alleged that Wu stole more than $238,000 in campaign funds, some of which he used to repay his former employer.

The missing campaign funds were discovered in May when the committee's campaign manager contacted the bank after the debit card used to pay bills was declined. 

Wu is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at a Santa Ana courthouse. He remains in county jail pending $322,000 in bail.  

ruben.vives@latimes.com

Twitter: @latvives

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