Honolulu bookkeeper indicted for $1.2 million fraud and money laundering


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Date: October 21, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

HONOLULU — Paul Henri Marie Harleman, of Honolulu, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on six counts of wire fraud and seven counts of money laundering. He was arrested on April 23, 2021, and previously charged by criminal complaint. Upon motion of the government, Harleman has been detained pending trial since his arrest.

Judith A. Philips, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced that the indictment alleges that while Harleman was working as a contract bookkeeper, he devised two fraud schemes to obtain money from three of his clients. In the first scheme, from July 2018 to May 2020, Harleman allegedly formed a limited liability company with a name nearly identical to the name of a significant vendor to one of his clients, and then charged the client's credit card for more than $146,000 in fraudulent invoices. In the second scheme, from September 2019 to his arrest, Harleman allegedly transferred more than $1,064,000 in a series of payments disguised as payroll from two of his clients to Harleman's limited liability company. According to the indictment, Harleman moved money fraudulently obtained from his three clients from his personal checking account to a personal investment account, resulting in the money laundering charges.

"This office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out and prosecute fraud and other economic crimes perpetrated against local businesses, non-profit entities, and individuals," stated Acting U.S. Attorney Philips.

"Today's indictment shows IRS Criminal Investigation's commitment to act when those in our communities are being taken advantage of and stolen from," said Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. "We will continue to be vigilant in protecting the public against fraud and theft."

"Financial crimes are a top priority for HSI, particularly when hardworking people and small businesses are the victims," said John F. Tobon, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations. "Our agents will continue to investigate and seek out the perpetrators of these kinds of illegal and complex financial schemes."

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations of the Department of Homeland Security. Assistant United States Attorney Craig S. Nolan is prosecuting the case.