D.A. charges Urban Decay executive with funneling $1 million into personal accounts

A cosmetics company executive was charged Thursday with stealing more than $1 million from his Newport Beach employer, prosecutors said.

Ranjett Reddy Paladugu, vice president of finance at Urban Decay Cosmetics, faces grand theft and money laundering charges. The charges carry special enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and property loss over $200,000.

Paladugu, 40, faces up to 13 years and four months in state prison, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The Irvine resident is accused of funneling the money into personal accounts through fictitious businesses and spending it on personal items, including a down payment on a house, prosecutors said.

Newport Beach police received a call at 8:47 p.m. Tuesday from an Urban Decay employee who thought they had identified suspicious activity in a corporate account, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.

Officers arrested Paladugu on suspicion of grand theft by an employee in the 800 block of W. 16th St. without incident.

Paladugu was in custody at Central Men’s Jail with bail set at $1.197 million. His arraignment is set for Dec. 12 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

An Urban Decay representative said a statement from the company is forthcoming.

DANIEL LANGHORNE is a contributor to Times Community News.

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