Former Gamestop VP Pleads Guilty to Stealing $2 Million from Company
Chris Olivera was for several years vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Gamestop. Part of his job was serving as a public face and spokesman for the Grapevine-based video game retailer. He did that just fine. It was the other part of his job, processing invoices from vendors, that got him in trouble.
Olivera was using his position to funnel some $2 million into his own bank account.
The scheme was simple. According to a federal
indictment complaint (Note: Olivera waived indictment. His guilty plea won't be official until he appears before a federal judge at an as-yet unspecified date.) filed yesterday afternoon, Olivera sent regular payments from Gamestop to Cloud Communications, LLC, a Nevada-based corporation with offices in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Canada. The company, and its supposed representative, Jennifer Miller, existed only on the papers Olivera had filed with the Nevada secretary of state.
This went on for nearly two years, from July 2009 through April 2011, before Gamestop brass began to suspect that it was Olivera, and not Jennifer Miller, who was depositing the checks made out to Cloud Communications. It was the feds who figured out that Olivera was transferring the money he deposited for Cloud Communications into his own personal account.
Olivera's guilty plea was filed yesterday along with the indictment. He admits to one count of mail fraud, which carries with it a maximum 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. No word yet from Gamestop on Olivera's case, though his name seems to have stopped appearing on company press releases in mid-2011, which probably tells us something.