Chico resident charged with wire fraud in scheme to divert company accounts to personal accounts


Date: May 11, 2023


OAKLAND — A federal grand jury indicted Neil Divers, charging him with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to divert tens of thousands of dollars owed to a company he co-owned to bank accounts he created for his personal use, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Darren Lian.

Divers of Chico, Calif., was co-owner of Kodiak, Precision, Inc., a machined component manufacturer located in Richmond, Calif. According to the indictment, owners discovered in 2015 that Divers was taking money from the company without authorization. This revelation led to the development of new controls and procedures to prevent Divers from taking money without authorization from the company again. Although Divers maintained an ownership position with Kodiak, he was removed as a signatory on the company's accounts. According to the indictment, Divers nevertheless allegedly orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to get around the controls and procedures designed to prevent him from taking money from Kodiak.

The indictment describes certain aspects of Divers' scheme to defraud. For example, after Divers was removed as a signatory on Kodiak bank accounts, Divers opened additional bank accounts in the name of Kodiak; as part of the set up for the new bank accounts, Divers established himself as the only signatory on the new accounts and created the accounts without the knowledge or consent of the Kodiak's additional owners. In addition, Divers instructed an employee to have customers deposit funds owed to Kodiak into the new, unauthorized bank accounts. In this way, Diver allegedly diverted funds owed to Kodiak and then used Kodiak funds to maintain his personal lifestyle.

The indictment charges Divers with five counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and two counts of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Each wire fraud count has a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine in the amount of $250,000. Each money-laundering count has a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine in the amount of $250,000. The court also may order a term of supervised release, fines or other assessments, restitution, and forfeiture, if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Divers was arrested this morning in Texas and made an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray, Jr. Divers' next appearance is scheduled before Chief Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, California on June 1, 2023, for initial appearance in this district.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Rees is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Leeya Kekona. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS-CI.