Longtime Orange County Republican operative Jack Wu, a former treasurer for the Dana Rohrabacher Congressional campaign, has been accused of embezzling $173,000 from the Congressman’s campaign offers. Nick Gerda from the Voice of OC broke the story yesterday.
From Gerda’s story:
Rohrabacher and his campaign committee filed criminal complaints with county and state prosecutors Wednesday against Wu, who served as treasurer until accounting discrepancies were discovered last month, according to Charles Bell, a Sacramento-based attorney who represents the congressman and his campaign committee.
“The committee discovered the embezzlement as a result of irregularity with its committee’s bank credit card which was tied to its bank account. The committee discovered that rather than about $185,000 cash on hand, its account had $187 in late May 2015,” states the news release from Bell.
“Upon discovering this information, Mr. Wu was immediately replaced as committee treasurer and the bank account was frozen. The committee confronted Mr. Wu with these allegations and Mr. Wu admitted to taking approximately $173,500 in funds from the committee’s account. The committee also demanded immediate, full restitution, and Mr. Wu promised to do so, but as of this date has failed to do so.”
The activity at issue took place in 2014 and 2015, Bell said, but it’s unclear if other financial improprieties took place before that.
“We don’t know if there’s more there, but obviously a thorough investigation” will help determine that, Bell said Wednesday afternoon.
The committee is now auditing its financial records going back to when Wu first became treasurer about seven years ago.
OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley took a more sympathetic track on Wu’s blues, taking stronger aim at Rohrabacher.
I first met Wu more than a decade ago and, despite political differences, had considered him a decent, witty and highly intelligent person. Today’s news is disheartening. Republican activists around the county are also shocked. Wu was exceptionally close to legendary Orange County Republican Party boss Tom Fuentes, playing a role in his 2012 funeral.
Am I the only one surprised at the phrase “despite political differences?” Rohrabacher appears to be the only Republican in Moxley’s sights.
As Wu’s professional endeavors fall under the areas of financial services and accounting, and he was just named to the Finance Commission for the City of Newport Beach, his admission to the embezzlement has far reaching implications for his professional future as well as his political one.