Friday, October 16, 2015

Murrieta: pair with expired visas arrested in embezzlement scheme

Murrieta, California - In May 2015, the Murrieta Police Department became aware of a possible
embezzlement of funds case from Sybak Photovoltaics, which is a solar business in the city of Murrieta. The Chief Operating Officer of Sybak Photovoltaics was Arkadiusz Zbigniew Nowak. Nowak was hired by the parent company Sybak Solar International LLC (in Polch, Germany) in October 2011 to open an office in Murrieta, California and purchase land in the Southern California area for a solar field.

A solar field is a large parcel of land used to produce solar energy with the use of solar panels. The energy is then sold to a local energy company for profit. Nowak was entrusted to handle the company’s financial investments and operating expenses of approximately $1,000.000.00. In the 22 month period when Sybak Photovoltaics was in business, Nowak purchased a ten acre parcel in San Bernardino County; however he never went any further with the project.

Nowak then embezzled approximately $331,000.00 from the Sybak Photovoltaics business account to purchase a home in the Murrieta community of Greer Ranch. Nowak later sold this home for a profit, and transferred the proceeds to his wife’s personal bank account. Over the course of several weeks, the money in this account was completely depleted through a series of withdraws. A forensic audit was later conducted by a private accounting firm, and it was discovered $418,804.93 had been embezzled by Arkadiusz Nowak from Sybak Solar International’s bank account.

Nowak ultimately rented another home in the Greer Ranch Community and completely cut ties with Sybak Solar International LLC. Nowak and his wife (Katarzyna Nowak) are both in the United States with expired visas and are citizens of Poland.

On 10-14-15, Murrieta Police Department detectives served a search warrant in the 27000 block of Pumpkin Street in Murrieta (Nowak’s rented home in Greer Ranch). Both Arkadiusz Nowak and Katarzyna Nowak were arrested without incident. Detectives searched the residence and found documents, bank records and other items that support the charges of embezzlement, money laundering, and financial structuring.

In addition, another $79,000.00 of unauthorized expenditures from the company’s business account was discovered—the funds were spent on utility bills, cell phone bills, credit card expenses, fuel, department store charges, car rentals and other travel expenses.

Both Arkadiusz Nowak and Katarzyna Nowak were booked at the Southwest Detention Center for the following charges:
· 503 P.C.    –   Embezzlement
· 186.10 P.C. – Money Laundering
· 14166 P.C. –  Financial Structuring

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