SAN FRANCISCO – Brooke Campbell Solis, 49, appeared in U.S. Magistrate Court on Thursday, September 17 for a criminal complaint charging her with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to embezzle funds from her former employer. Solis, a licensed attorney in Austin, Texas, was the General Counsel and Chief Business Officer of a financial technology company registered to do business in the State of California. While employed with the technology company, Solis telecommuted from her home in Austin to her employer’s principal place of business in San Francisco.
The complaint alleges that Solis diverted funds from her employer and paid the diverted funds to shell companies and entities controlled by Solis and her husband. Solis controlled a shell company named The Paralegal Group LLC that was incorporated in Delaware with Solis listed as the sole member. Bank records and additional vendor records identify Solis as the person controlling The Paralegal Group. The complaint alleges Solis submitted fraudulent invoices in the name of The Paralegal Group and then arranged for her employer to pay the invoices to the shell company. There is no evidence The Paralegal Group ever provided any services to Solis’s employer and certain records typically associated with running a true business do not exist for The Paralegal Group.
Additionally, Solis used “super administrative privileges” to receive an illegitimate reimbursement payment from her employer. The super administrative privileges were utilized to improperly submit and approve payment for expenses without review from other employees or executives working for the employer. After Solis’ employment was terminated in July of 2019, she submitted a personal expense of $4,575 for “Jackson and Oliver boarding.” The investigation launched into Solis discovered that the defendant had access to her employer’s expense approval software even after her employment was terminated and, as of the signing of the complaint, no records for the boarding company could be found.
In sum, Solis is charged with two counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 to which she pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Judge DeMarchi ordered Solis released on a $150,000 bond and scheduled her next court appearance for October 22, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. for a preliminary examination. If convicted, Solis faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty years in prison for each count of wire fraud. The court also may order an additional term of supervised release, fines and restitution.
The case is being prosecuted by the Corporate Fraud Strike Force. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.