MONTEREY, Calif., April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard MacDonald Studios (www.richardmacdonald.com), home to the world renowned sculpture artist Richard MacDonald, has filed a lawsuit against former Chief Operating Officer Julia Cominos. The company has uncovered a series of fraudulent activities and embezzlement schemes by the former Chief Operating Officer, Julia Cominos. Cominos is currently under criminal investigation by the Monterey police department and the District Attorney. According to court documents, 14 actions have been filed and validated to move forward by the presiding judge in the civil action case against the former Chief Operating Officer, Julia Cominos. The alleged embezzlement that took place from 2009-2015 has resulted in millions of dollars that was taken from Richard MacDonald studios, Cirque de Soliel, the Royal Ballet scholarship fund and Joie de Vie, LLC.
As the investigation continues to unfold, it has been alleged that various schemes were used to extract millions of dollars from Richard MacDonald's companies. According to court documents, forensic evidence shows:
- Fraudulent expense reports
- Siphoning of cash through the petty cash account to the tune of $80,000 in a single year
- Falsifying sales orders to inflate revenue reporting to Cirque de Soliel
- Using company funds for personal covert investments
- Paying key company accounting and shipping staff from Ms. Cominos personal account
- Over 90 new bank accounts and 30 new credit cards were opened
- Funds were traced to investments in the Caymen Islands, Luxembourg and Ms. Cominos trust account at The Law Offices of Ted Cominos, Sr., and more
According to court documents, the forensic evidence has also uncovered five employees that were involved in the embezzlement - Katya Sanchez, Jessica Danniken, Lewis Lovett, Evelyn Amador and Michelle Lisenby. All of these employees held key positions in the accounting or shipping department.
Depositions and subpoenas have been served to Ted Cominos, Sr., Katya Sanchez and Sue Robey with more scheduled. Depositions are scheduled to begin in April. Case #16CV000320 is currently under review with Judge Thomas Wills of Monterey County along with the District Attorney's office in Monterey, CA.
The Monterey based company is home to the world renowned sculpture artist, Richard MacDonald. He is best known for his "Flair Across America" for the US Olympics in 1996 and the 100th US Open at Pebble Beach in 2000. He is also known for his commissioned work for the Royal Ballet. With studios in London, Monterey and Las Vegas, the art that has been created by the world's leading figurative sculpture artist is also a philanthropist supporting many charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, abused children, ballet scholarships in Monterey and Carmel, CA as well as the dancers of the Royal Ballet. He also devotes his personal time to teach and lecture students on art.
In a recent interview after reviewing court documents and the forensic evidence, Richard MacDonald expressed his deep disappointment in his former employees and the misappropriation of company funds. "Embezzlement and fraud, effects all employees in the company and the community. For years, Richard MacDonald Studios has been able to provide jobs and scholarships thereby enriching and elevating the living standards of many. Embezzlement forces companies to contract and restructure which in turn affects employment for many in the company and community which ultimately affects the lives of their children," said Mr. MacDonald. As the case continues to unfold, the 70 year old Richard MacDonald suffers mentally, physically and financially.
SOURCE Richard MacDonald Studios