Thursday, September 15, 2016
HOUSTON – An accountant from Georgia has admitted he committed wire fraud and stole more than $3 million from Houston company Airis International Holdings, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Daniel Nathan West, 50, of Duluth, Georgia, was previously employed as the treasurer and chief financial officer for Airis International Holdings. In this role, he was to manage Airis finances during construction projects, control the company’s monetary assets, administer payments and payroll, among other things.
In 2005, West resigned from Airis to start his accounting firm - Westtree Financial. Shortly thereafter, Airis contracted with Westtree Financial to provide accounting services to Airis. Although West no longer worked directly for Airis, through his company he continued to have signature authority on Airis’ bank accounts and authority to transfer funds on behalf of Airis.
From 2005 to 2012, West embezzled $3,616,563.45 from Airis, admitting he used the moniesto purchase a luxury home in Georgia, a beach house in Florida, an office building in Georgia and luxury vehicles.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt accepted the plea and set sentencing for Dec. 5, 2016. At that time, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vernon Lewis is prosecuting the case.