A former Rockwell Automation employee is accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company — including by creating a “sham company” to pocket money meant for business travel.
Eduardo Africano, 49, created Omega World Inc. specifically to defraud Rockwell, repeatedly billing Rockwell for fictitious business travel expenses that were paid to the fake company and then routing all of the money into his personal checking account, the complaint released Wednesday said.
He also is accused of using Rockwell corporate credit cards to buy airline tickets for personal travel for himself, his family and friends.
Investigators say Africano embezzled at least $225,000 from Rockwell.
Before he was fired in May 2014, Africano traveled extensively to Latin America for business and was given corporate credit cards meant to be used for business expenses.
A Wauwatosa police detective led the investigation, which was conducted with the help of a U.S. Secret Service agent.
When Africano created Omega World Inc., he set up a merchant account for the fake company so it could charge credit cards, and he repeatedly charged his corporate credit cards to the fictitious company, the complaint said.
Prosecutors say Africano then submitted travel expense reports to Rockwell, claiming any charges to Omega World Inc. were for business travel.
That money actually went into Africano’s personal checking account at Bank of America, according to the complaint.
He also used corporate credit cards to cover personal travel costs for himself as well as his family and friends, then submitted fake expense reports misrepresenting the trip destinations, the complaint said.
Africano, who now lives in Florida, faces three felony charges of theft by fraud.