(CN) – The owner of a biomedical company claims an employee stole $500,000, told her an elaborate tale about a nonexistent FBI investigation, and said her life was in danger and she should flee the country and refrain from checking her bank accounts. When she did that, the woman moved into her home and emptied it of furniture, according to a RICO complaint in Oakland, Calif., Federal Court.
Zeneida Perdomo, owner of Biomeda Corp., says Carmen Garcia concocted a tall tale that the FBI was investigating a crime against Biomeda and Perdomo.
Garcia told her that she shouldn’t talk to anybody about the investigation, that her life was in danger, and that she should stay away from the company and her bank accounts, according to the complaint.
Perdomo claims Garcia created a lawyer persona who was supposedly working with the FBI, and sent Perdomo e-mails posing as the attorney to back up the yarn.
On the advice of the phony lawyer, Perdomo says, she gave Garcia unfettered access to the company’s bank accounts and her own personal accounts. Garcia transferred thousands of dollars of Perdomo’s money into her own accounts and racked up thousands of dollars of charges on Perdomo’s credit cards, according to the complaint.
Perdomo says that while she stayed out of the country, on Garcia’s advice, Garcia moved into her apartment and then “improperly disposed of [her] personal property.”
In her 36-page complaint, Perdomo says Garcia told Biomeda investors that Perdomo was in the witness protection program, and then “improperly disposed of Biomeda’s equipment and destroyed Biomeda’s intellectual property.”
Perdomo says she was paying Garcia $45,000 a year while all this was happening, from 2006 to 2008.
Perdomo says she didn’t realize she had been defrauded until she returned to California in 2008 and her bank informed her that her money was gone. The bank refused to reimburse her for the fraud, Perdomo says.
Biomeda is an online supplier of antibodies and other medical and scientific supplies.
Garcia was indicted in 2009 on wire fraud charges and is awaiting trial, according to the complaint.
Perdomo accuses Garcia, U.S. Bancorp, Coldwell Banker and Public Storage Franchise of racketeering and wire and mail fraud. She says the companies’ negligence aided Garcia in her crimes.
Perdomo is represented by James Oddie of San Francisco.