Honolulu bookkeeper allegedly took $1.2 million from clients; indicted for fraud, money laundering

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 34-year-old man was indicted Thursday, Oct. 21, by a federal grand jury on seven counts of money laundering and six counts of wire fraud after he allegedly took about $1.2 million from his clients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney’s Office.

Paul Henri Marie Harleman was working as a contract bookkeeper in Honolulu. Judith A. Philips, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced that he apparently devised two fraud schemes to get money from three of his clients.

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He was arrested on April 23, initially charged by criminal complaint and was then detained pending trial due to a government motion.

Harleman’s first scheme happened between July 2018 and May 2020 when he allegedly created a limited liability company with a name almost identical to one of his client’s vendors. He then apparently charged his client’s credit card for over $146,000 in fraudulent invoices.

The second scheme happened from September 2019 until his arrest on April 23. Harleman apparently transferred over $1,064,000 to his limited liability company in several payments disguised as payroll from two of his clients.

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“Today’s indictment shows IRS Criminal Investigation’s commitment to act when those in our communities are being taken advantage of and stolen from,” said Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “We will continue to be vigilant in protecting the public against fraud and theft.”

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