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Press Release

Former Chief Financial Officer Of San Francisco Company Sentenced To 70 Months In Prison

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

SAN FRANCISCO– Henry Lo was sentenced today to 70 months in prison for committing wire fraud and mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson and United States Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez.

Lo, 51 of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on November 20, 2014, to two counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.  According to the plea agreement, Lo admitted he held the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) (and other positions) at a company in San Francisco known as AbsolutelyNew, Inc. (ANI).  Lo admitted that during the period January 2008 to February 2012  he (1) used ANI funds to make payments of $239,052.76 to his personal American Express account; (2) caused ANI funds totaling $564,310.54 to be paid to a PayPal account that he controlled; (3) used ANI funds to purchase more than $1.35 million in cashier’s checks, which he either deposited into his personal brokerage account at Charles Schwab & Co. (Schwab) or used to pay down his personal line of credit at Wells Fargo Bank; and (4) used a debit card connected to ANI’s bank account at Bank of America to make purchases for numerous personal items totaling at least $30,329.50.

In addition, Lo admitted he engaged in a separate scheme to defraud a person identified in the Indictment and Plea Agreement as “A.W.”  Specifically, Lo admitted he induced A.W. to write him checks made payable to Schwab, which Lo purported would then be wired to the IRS on A.W.’s behalf to pay A.W.’s tax obligations.  Instead, Lo deposited checks from A.W. totaling more than $125,000 into his own wife’s Schwab brokerage account, and then forged and mailed confirmation statements to A.W. that purported to be from Schwab.

Lo was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 19, 2014.  He was charged with wire fraud, access device fraud, and mail fraud.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Judge, following a guilty plea on two counts in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud) and one count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 (mail fraud).   Judge Orrick also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of $10,000, restitution of  $2,232,894.39, and a forfeiture money judgment in an equivalent amount.  The defendant had previously been remanded into custody by Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James and will begin serving the sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyle F. Waldinger and David Countryman are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Meegan, Mary Mallory, Allen Williams, and Carolyn Jusay.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated April 10, 2015