The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two former iPayment executives with a scheme that allegedly saw them manipulate the credit card processing firm’s accounting systems to steal millions of dollars.
Former SVP of sales and marketing Nasir Shakouri and COO Robert Torino also face criminal charges brought by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Between 2008 and 2012, Shakouri and Torino allegedly cost their employer $11.6 million through phony expense reimbursements, inflated invoices, and other improper accounting tactics.
The pair routinely reimbursed themselves for payments that were never actually made to third-party vendors using their personal credit cards, says the complaint.
In addition, they allegedly conspired with vendors to inflate invoices and receive kickbacks from the overpayments, and claimed improper commissions and bonuses related to other corporate funds they improperly diverted in various ways.
Another three iPayment execs – Bronson Quon, John Hong, and Jonathan Skarie – face charges, accused of helping Shakouri and Torino to falsify books and records to hide the thefts in return for cash.
IPayment says that it discovered the scheme in 2012 and has since put in controls to prevent a repeat, adding that the SEC and DoJ charges bring to a close a “regrettable period”.