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March 8, 2010

FORMER CFO OF HOUSTON ENGINEERING FIRM CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING MILLIONS

(HOUSTON) – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Christopher McCullough, 47, with interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with his alleged embezzlement of more than $3 million, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. McCullough, currently of Frederic, Colo., and formerly of Houston, allegedly committed the offense while serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of LJA Engineering (LJA).

Agents with the FBI arrested McCullough this morning in Colorado and he is expected to make his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Denver this afternoon. A date for his arraignment in Houston will be set at a future time.

According to the indictment, McCullough served as the CFO of Houston-based LJA and was a member of the LJA’s board of directors. Using the access he had as CFO to LJA bank accounts, McCullough allegedly engaged in more than 200 transactions totaling more than $3.5 million in which he converted LJA funds to his personal use. The indictment alleges he embezzled these funds by withdrawing cash, writing checks drawn on the LJA accounts to pay his personal expenses and purchasing cashier’s checks with the LJA funds which he used to pay personal expenses.  The indictment identifies some of those personal expenses McCullough paid with the embezzled funds as his personal taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service, stock purchases, the purchase of real estate in Houston and Colorado and expenses related to the construction, landscaping and interior decorating of a home in Estes Park, Colo. The indictment also alleges that a few weeks after resigning from LJA, McCullough entered the LJA office around 11:00 p.m. and removed a number of boxes believed to contain financial records.
           
The indictment charges seven counts alleging that McCullough transported the embezzled cashier’s check from Texas to Colorado where he used the checks to pay for the construction, landscaping and interior decorating of the home he was building in Estes Park. Each count of interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg Costa.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

 

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