Ex-HP executive pleads guilty to $5 million credit card fraud scheme

A former executive with HP, Inc. pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing some $5 million from the Silicon Valley computer company and using it to buy luxury cars, jewelry and watches, federal prosecutors said.

Shelbee Szeto entered pleas in an Oakland federal courtroom to wire fraud, money laundering and a related tax charge, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

The 30-year-old Fremont woman was an executive assistant and finance planning manager for HP, Inc. and was responsible for using company credit cards to pay off vendors, prosecutors said.

From mid-2017 through mid-2020, Sxeto sent payments intended for HP business expenses to phony merchant accounts she set up through digital financial firms including Square, PayPal and Stripe, prosecutors said.

In her plea agreement, Szeto acknowledged that she stole at least $4.8 million and tried to steal another $300,000. She used the money to buy a Tesla sedan, a Porsche SUV and handbags, purses, watches, gold necklaces, 26 pairs of earrings and other items from luxury brands such as Dior, Gucci, Rolex and Bulgari.

Szeto is scheduled to be sentenced in July. She could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for money laundering.

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