Case # 03CF3422
Date: September 14, 2018
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was arraigned today for the forgery of $344,000 in checks from his former employer Ace Hardware. He was extradited from Texas after fleeing to Honduras in 2003.
Defendant: Selvin Nelson Lopez, 48
Charged on Nov. 18, 2003, with:
One felony count of grand theft
Charged on Aug. 23, 2018, with the following felony counts:
- (40) Forgery
- (9) Falsifying records
- Sentencing Enhancement Allegations
- Loss over $100,000
- Statute of Limitations tolled
- Property loss over $150,000
- Aggravated white collar crime with loss between $100,000 and $500,000
Maximum Sentence: 38 years and eight months in state prison
Pre-trial hearing on Oct. 4, 2018, 8:30 a.m. at Department C-49, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
- Lopez was employed in the accounts payable department of Ace Hardware in Santa Ana from 1996 to 2001.
- Between 1998 and 2001, Lopez is accused of embezzling $344,000 from Ace Hardware by forging 40 checks in amounts over $950 each.
- The defendant is further accused of falsifying records in an effort to conceal the fraud.
- Lopez is accused of fleeing to Honduras when the fraud was discovered and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) charged the defendant with one felony count of grand theft in 2003. A warrant was issued for Lopez’s arrest.
- In 2015, Lopez was located in Texas and convicted of a 3rd Degree Felony Violation of Texas Penal Code Section 31.03(e)(5), theft in excess of $20,000 but less than $100,000, in an unrelated case.
- On Aug. 3, 2018, the defendant was extradited to Orange County, where further investigation led to the filing of 49 additional charges.
- The OCDA is dedicated to the apprehension and extradition of serious, violent, and dangerous fugitives from anywhere in the world. The OCDA is committed to prosecuting fugitives, protecting the public, and seeking justice for victims, and would like to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in Lopez’s extradition.
The Santa Ana Police Department and OCDA Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.
Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Miller, Major Fraud Unit.