Tacoma – A 53-year-old Port Orchard, Washington, woman was charged today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma with wire fraud for her scheme to embezzle from a company she started and then sold to a Texas firm, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. JULIE SUE DORAN is alleged to have transferred illegally nearly $725,000 from company accounts for her own expenses, including the purchase of property in Aruba. DORAN is scheduled to make her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on July 6, 2020.
According to records filed in the case, DORAN was the major shareholder and CEO of My YearLook, Inc., a start-up business that was designing a web portal to collect, store, and share school yearbooks in digital form. In February 2015, a Texas company, American Achievement Group Holding Corporation (“AAC”) purchased a majority stake in My YearLook by paying approximately $1.3 million into company accounts. The purchase agreement specified that the money was to be used to grow the company. DORAN was retained as the CEO at an annual salary of $160,000.
Within days of the Texas company transferring the money to the My YearLook accounts, DORAN began transferring the money into accounts she controlled and used it for her personal expenses such as payments to a horse training and boarding facility, purchase of a motorcycle and a recreational vehicle, and purchase of a property in Aruba. DORAN altered some of the transfer records to hide the embezzlement from the financial staff at the Texas parent company. The scheme unraveled in November 2015 when the financial team in Texas realized DORAN had multiple bank accounts and had falsified bank statements and records. She was fired in February 2016, and the parent company recovered the last $240,000 in the My YearLook accounts.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney André M. Peñalver.