A California man has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling more than $1.2 million from his employer over a 16-year period by using a nonexistent temporary staffing company, the US Department of Justice announced. Darrell Pike, of Hesperia, California, was charged with one count of mail fraud in the case.

According to the charging document, Pike was the general manager of a California subsidiary of a Wilmington, Massachusetts-based supply and service company. From about 2005 to 2021, he allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices to his employer on behalf of a fake temporary staffing company, Consumer Information Systems, for staffing services it purportedly provided at the Ontario, California, location he managed. Pike also allegedly added initials of company personnel to the invoices, approving them without their knowledge or consent. The company paid approximately $1,271,206 to CIS over the 16-year period, which Pike allegedly deposited into a bank account he controlled.

The maximum penalty for the mail fraud charge is 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the US sentencing guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case. Pike will appear in federal court in Boston for a plea hearing, which has not yet been scheduled by the court.

The charging document only alleges that a crime has been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty in court.