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Alfonso Fierro Jr. wanted to live the high life. He did. He was controller of WSA Distributing from 2008 through 2012. In 2012, he was named chief financial officer. On the last day of February, he admitted to forging 110 WSA checks, totaling $2.48 million, between 2011 and 2012.

He bought a $2.79 million house in Rancho Santa Fe. He forged WSA checks to put down $1.8 million on the house. Then he created a letter on WSA letterhead supposedly signed by the WSA chief executive officer. The letter claimed that Fierro had a base salary of $451,000 and was guaranteed an annual bonus of $200,000. But his actual salary was $125,000. Fierro forged the chief executive's signature and submitted it to a bank to complete the purchase of the home.

He also bought a country-club membership, luxury autos, jewelry, and watches with forged WSA checks. As part of his plea, he is supposed to pay WSA $2.48 million.

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Comments

Visduh March 12, 2014 @ 4:14 p.m.

This is another example of how profitable and cash-rich some companies are. The guy bleeds two and a half million bucks out of the operation, and it still has its doors open? How that can happen is a total mystery to me, because these embezzlers usually aren't that clever, but they do spot a chink in the armor and exploit it. Maybe the owners and/or top management just never bothered to look at the finances, after all, it is boring stuff, nothing but numbers on paper. But if they want to get rich and successful, it takes money and money requires knowing what makes the business tick. Sheesh!

He's going to pay the money back? How? Most of it is dissipated, not invested and growing, because that's what high-living embezzlers do, they spend it. I did a 'net search on this company and found that neither of its websites was up. Too embarrassing?

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 8:56 p.m.

Ponzi: The company boasts that it is one of the fastest-growing distributors of handsets in the nation. Maybe it is growing too fast to keep its eye on the books. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 8:53 p.m.

Visduh: In cases like this, there is usually an agreement that the rascal will pay the money back. Few expect that to happen. I, too, was surprised that this guy stole as much as he did for as long as he did without getting detected. There have to be checks and balances in financial operations. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi March 12, 2014 @ 6:47 p.m.

Yes, these stories amuse me. Lack of financial controls and apparently no outside audits. Alfonso Fierro Jr. is (was) a CPA, so he's going to lose that designation.

The founder and CEO of of WSA, Carlos Becerra, has also been in the news recently about a nightclub he was trying to open downtown and political contribution questions.

The U-T ran a story on 1/27/2014 saying "Becerra has a record of his own that includes charges that he illegally purchased a firearm in Arizona. He was also investigated by Chula Vista police in a cellphone cloning scam and was linked by federal agents to drug trafficking and money laundering, federal records show."

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Visduh March 12, 2014 @ 7:17 p.m.

Dirty is as dirty does? If one crook steals from another crook, is there a crime? In this case, it looks as if that was just what happened. And it goes a long way toward describing why.

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 9:02 p.m.

Visduh: If the company is a dubious operator in a dubious business, one can see how executives have the temptation to steal. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 8:58 p.m.

Ponzi: That is very interesting. It appears there is more to this than meets the eye. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi March 12, 2014 @ 8:57 p.m.

Little birds tell me he is the son of a long time Prospect Street restaurateur.

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 8:59 p.m.

Ponzi: CEO Carlos Becerra may be the most interesting one here. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi March 12, 2014 @ 9:43 p.m.

Don, I agree. Becerra's company has filed a fraud lawsuit against Alfonso Fierro. It will be interesting what the discovery unveils. Also, the U.S. Attorney may not be done with Becerra. When enough money is sloshing around that a couple of million can be "missing" or "stolen" without being noticed, it makes one wonder...

There's a crime behind every fortune.

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 10:31 p.m.

Ponzi: One of the great French philosophers (forgotten which one) said that at the root of every great enterprise is a fraud. Of course, the French also say that behind every scam pulled by a man is a woman -- "cherchez la femme." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 10:36 p.m.

San Diego Highwayman: Before this is over, we may unearth more than one scumbag. Best, Don Bauder

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