Spa Owner Charged with Retirement Fund Embezzlement

The owner of a Pasadena, California, spa and salon has been charged with embezzling more than $26,000 withheld from employee paychecks for a 401(k) profit-sharing plan.

A news release from the U. S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) said Joseph Wong of Rowland Heights, president and owner of Pasadena based Amadeus Salon Inc., was indicted by a grand jury.  According to the indictment, Wong withheld the funds between 2004 and 2008, but allegedly used the money for his own benefit. 

The eight-count indictment alleges that Wong embezzled from an employee benefit plan covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Each count in the indictment carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison.

At his Los Angeles arraignment, Wong pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a $50,000 bond, according to the news release.  Wong’s trial is scheduled to begin on October 19 in U.S. District Court.