Former IT Director and Wife Arrested for Embezzling More Than $1 Million from Employer
HOUSTON – A Frisco couple, formerly of Houston, have been taken into custody on a multi-count indictment alleging a $1 million mail and wire fraud conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Bradley Freitas, 36, was the former Director of Information Technology (IT) services for Orion Real Estate Services Inc.
Freitas and his wife - Loren Freitas, 32 - are set to make their initial appearance in Sherman in the Eastern District of Texas at 11:00 a.m. They are then expected to appear in Houston before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith on April 7 at 10:00 a.m.
The indictment, filed Feb. 17, 2016, and unsealed upon their arrests today, charges the Freitas with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 11 counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.
According to the allegations in the indictment, from approximately April 14, 2009, through Jan. 14, 2014, Bradley Freitas embezzled approximately $1,009,634.45 from Orion Real Estate Services Inc. with the help of his wife. Orion is a full-service, multi-family residential real estate management company serving a wide variety of investors, ranging from institutions, private partnerships, foreign investors, individual owners and government housing organizations. With more than 665 employees, Orion allegedly provides management for all types of multi-family properties and had a growing portfolio of more than 25,000 apartment homes under management throughout the nation.
Bradley Freitas was hired as the director of IT services for Orion on March 5, 2009.
Throughout his employment, Bradley Freitas allegedly created false explanations on internal Orion company justification documents to mask unauthorized purchases as legitimate IT-related items. The indictment alleges he miscoded Orion justification documents to mask unauthorized personal purchases for several years and made these unauthorized purchases with company credit cards issued to him for IT purchases only. He allegedly purchased merchandise from online retailers, such as Amazon, NewEgg and CDW, and mailed it to either to his office or home.
Several of the items Freitas purchased, including a dining room table and chairs, a Gucci purse and wallet, home entertainment systems, televisions, etc., were for his and wife’s own personal enrichment, according to the allegations. Other items - iPads, laptops, etc. - were fraudulently purchased with the company card and allegedly sold on EBay or to their own private customers in New York and elsewhere for the Freitas to earn a profit.
According to the indictment, Loren Freitas would direct her husband at times on what to purchase and then mail the various items to be sold to their customers via FedEx or UPS.
Each charge carries a possible 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine, upon conviction.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.