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Press Release

East Bay Finance Manager Charged In Wire Fraud And Tax Evasion Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

OAKLAND – A federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Scott Thomas Hatanaka yesterday with wire fraud and tax evasion announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge David Johnson; and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.

According to the indictment, Hatanaka, is alleged to have carried out a scheme to embezzle money from his employer, Foster Wheeler Martinez, Inc. (“FWM”).  FWM operated a natural gas combined cycle cogeneration facility which produced electrical power using a natural gas turbine while simultaneously converting excess heat into additional electrical power.  The indictment alleges that while working as FWM’s finance manager, Hatanaka drafted company checks made payable to himself and to his personal credit card company.  In order to conceal his thefts, Hatanaka forged signatures on the checks and entered false ledger entries into the company’s accounting system, among other things.

Hatanaka is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland on April 8, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu.  Hatanaka’s next scheduled appearance will be set before the Honorable Jeffery S. White, U.S. District Court Judge.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1343 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count of tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C § 7201 is 6 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C § 3553.

Wade M. Rhyne is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Janice Pagsanjan and Noble Hughes.  The prosecution is the result of a year-long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Updated March 27, 2015