He bought a hot tub and Coachella tickets with company funds. Now he’s headed to prison


A Riverside man was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his company to pay for lavish personal expenses, including Coachella tickets, a home gym and a hot tub.

Matthew P. Hernandez, 46, is a former manager of Networks 2000 Inc., a small tech company based in San Diego. He was entrusted with managing payroll, accounts payable and employee bonuses; instead, federal prosecutors alleged, he devised a scheme to wire money to his personal accounts.

After pocketing more than $350,000 of company funds over hundreds of transactions and a period spanning seven years, Hernandez pleaded guilty to wire fraud at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in August. The sentencing also stipulated a mandatory restitution of $356,644.46 to the company.

Beginning in 2000, Hernandez maneuvered multiple schemes to obtain unauthorized funds for personal use, according to the indictment. As a manager, he issued direct deposits from the company’s checking account to pay off personal credit card debt and used corporate credit cards to buy luxury items including a $3,500 hot tub and a watch priced more than $1,000.


“These thefts are devastating for small businesses,” U.S. Atty. Randy Grossman said in a news release. “This is a significant sentence that hopefully alerts other would-be thieves that stealing from your employer carries significant consequences.”

Patrick Swan, assistant U.S. attorney, and Andrew Byrd, Hernandez’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.