ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 17HF1607
Date: December 7, 2017
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The vice president of finance for Urban Decay was charged today with grand theft and money laundering for transferring over $1 million from the company to his personal accounts through fictitious businesses.
Defendant: Ranjeet Reddy Paladugu, 40, Irvine
Charged today with the following felony counts:
- (2) Grand theft
- Money laundering
- Sentencing Enhancements:
- Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000
- Property loss over $200,000
Maximum Sentence: 13 years and four months in state prison
Continued arraignment: Dec. 12, 2017, 8:30 a.m. at Department H-7, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach
Bail: $1.197 million
Circumstances of the Case
- At the time of the crime, Paladugu was employed as the vice president of finance for the cosmetics company Urban Decay in Newport Beach.
- Prior to July 17, 2017, the defendant is accused of creating fictitious business accounts at various banks with names similar to those of Urban Decay’s business partners to avoid detection.
- On July 17, 2017, Paladugu is accused of using his position at the company to authorize a $598,500 transfer from Urban Decay to one of his fictitious business accounts, then transferring the funds to his personal bank account.
- On Aug. 18, 2017, Paladugu is accused of authorizing a second $598,500 transaction from Urban Decay to a different fictitious company he created.
- Weeks later, Paladugu is accused of canceling the second transaction and wiring the money back to the Urban Decay account.
- A bank noticed the suspicious activity and alerted Urban Decay corporate security, who contacted the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD).
- NBPD investigated this case and arrested Paladugu on Dec. 5, 2017.
Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Nagy Morcos, Major Fraud Unit
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson