Long Beach man pleads guilty to embezzlement, forgery
A Long Beach man who owns an Orange County construction company is due to be sentenced on Sept. 12 after pleading guilty to dozens of felony charges of forgery and embezzlement.
Cameron “Sid” Evans, 44, owner of Newport Beach-based metal stud framing/drywall company Champion Construction, pleaded guilty to 42 counts of embezzlement, forgery and property damage on Aug. 29, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
According to Irvine Police investigator Nina Berbiglia, Evans took more than $1 million from subcontracting companies that contractor Champion Construction had hired to perform work on the construction of the Cambria Hotel in El Segundo, near Los Angeles International Airport, under a contract with Irvine-based general contractor Deacon Corp.
Berbiglia’s investigation found that although Deacon was paying Champion Construction for work being performed by the company and its subcontractors, Champion was keeping the money and not distributing any to the subcontractors.
Court documents show that between January and May 2016, 14 two-party checks had been issued by Deacon to Champion Construction and a subtracting company, but that the signature of the second party was forged and the checks deposited into an unknown account with JP Morgan Chase Bank. The account where the checks were deposited was closed in August 2016, according to Berbiglia.
An initial report about the theft was filed with Irvine police by Deacon Corp. in October 2016. After a lengthy investigation, Evans was arrested in March of this year.
In July, Champion Construction was found guilty by California Labor Commissioner Julie Su of not paying over 100 workers prevailing wages and fringe benefits. Champion Construction maintained false payroll records over a six-month period to cover up the wage theft, according to Su.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office launched the investigation after receiving a report of public works violations in March 2016, during the same time that Evans was found to have been defrauding Deacon Corp.
In early July, the group of 103 workers – who helped build Browning High School in Long Beach – received a total of $744,533, or an average of $7,228 each when the employer delivered its final payment, according to the Labor Commissioner’s Office.
In addition to the Orange County District Attorney case, Evans is currently facing felony criminal charges stemming from a workers compensation fraud case brought by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office in August 2017.
In that case, he’s alleged to have made false statements regarding a workers’ compensation insurance policy, for the purpose of premium, rate and cost of insurance, according to the Superior Court of California.
Evans, whose home address is listed in court records as Long Beach, also has a prior felony conviction for welfare fraud. He’s currently on probation in Los Angeles County, according to Berbiglia.
He could not be reached for comment.