Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Financial Controller Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling Almost Half a Million Dollars from Family-Owned San Diego Business

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

Assistant U. S. Attorney Rebecca S. Kanter (619) 546-7304   

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO – Derick Jonathan Cameron of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced in federal court today to 20 months in prison for embezzling more than $400,000 when he was employed as the Financial Controller for San Diego-based RAL Investment Corporation. 

Cameron previously pleaded guilty, admitting that he abused his access to the company’s accounting software by issuing more than 200 unauthorized checks to himself using the electronic signature of the company’s CFO and depositing them into his personal bank account. He then concealed the payments by manipulating the company’s accounting records to make it appear that each check was issued to a legitimate third-party vendor for a business expense.  The company discovered Cameron’s fraudulent activity in April 2018, fired Cameron, and reported the conduct to law enforcement when Cameron was unable to make his promised repayments on schedule.

In addition to the 20 months of federal custody, U.S. District Judge Todd W. Robinson imposed three years’ supervised release, an $8,000 fine and ordered Cameron to pay restitution of $203,857 to the victim, RAL Investment Corporation, which is the difference between the amount Cameron embezzled ($403,857) and the amount he repaid his former employer in 2018 ($200,000) after his theft was detected. The Court specifically ordered Cameron to repay $10,000 by March 12, 2022, suggesting Cameron could sell a recently purchased motorcycle to pay the debt.

“The impact of fraud on small businesses can be devastating,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “This defendant abused his position of trust to enrich himself, and he has been held to account for his crime.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and the FBI for the excellent work on this case.

“The FBI will continue to vigorously pursue those who use their workplace access for personal and financial gain over professional responsibility,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “Mr. Cameron’s check-writing scheme hurt this small, family-owned business, endangered its livelihood, and impacted its employees. Today, Mr. Cameron faced judgement for those criminal actions.” 

Cameron is scheduled to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on or before March 14, 2022.

DEFENDANTS                                             Case Number 21cr2128-TWR                          

Derick Jonathan Cameron                                          Age: 38                       Vancouver, Washington


Wire Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1343

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gain/loss, whichever is greater


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Updated January 10, 2022

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: CAS22-0110-Cameron