Indian American charged for transferring more than $1M from business to personal account

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NEW YORK – Indian American Ranjeet Reddy Paladugu, the vice president of finance for Urban Decay, was charged for grand theft and money laundering for transferring more than $1 million from the business account to his personal accounts.

The charges carry special enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and property loss over $200,000.

According to the Orange County Register, Paladugu, 40, set up fictitious business accounts at various banks, using names similar to those of Urban Decay’s business partners and authorized a $598,500 transfer from the company account to one of the fictitious business accounts and then to his own personal bank account, which was followed by a second transfer of $598,500 from Urban Decay to a different fictitious company.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Paladugu was suspected of wiring the money back from the second transaction into an Urban Decay account, weeks later.

A bank then noticed the suspicious activity and alerted Urban Decay’s corporate security after which the Newport Beach Police Department was notified and investigators arrested Paladugu on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

He appeared in court that Thursday and then again on Dec. 12. If convicted, Paladugu could face up to 13 years and four months in prison.

He was being held on $1.2 million bail.

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