A former New York cop who somehow parlayed that experience into a role on this coast as vice president of and associate counsel to an Irvine title insurance company is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Ana this morning on charges he stole $469,000 from his employer to gamble. Wayne Martin Fong, 50, of Tustin, was held in lieu of $300,000 bail after his arrest by Irvine Police Thursday and filing of multiple felony counts by the Orange County District Attorney.
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Fidelity National Title Group hired Fong in 1999, and his role at the time the investigation of him began involved overseeing vendors hired to search for missing company assets. Four months after one such vendor, Global Discoveries, signed with Fidelity in March 2009, Fong is alleged to have sent the firm an email requesting that payments be sent to a particular account. You can guess where this is going: Fong is accused of collecting $469,000 in this account–set up with a different email address, phone number and mailing address than his Fidelity digits–and gambling the funds away.
A vendor suspicious that Fong provided addresses and a phone number different than Fidelity's alerted the company, which contacted the Irvine Police Department.
Fong had already been disbarred by the time he was arrested and charged with seven felony counts of grand
theft and five felony counts of money laundering with allegations and
sentencing enhancements for causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated
white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000.
conviction could send Fong to state prison for 13 years and four months, according to the district attorney.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.