A Tigard, Ore., man appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of stealing more than $150,000 from a Vancouver roofing company through identity theft, forgery and money-laundering.
Mario M. Jasso, 65, faces charges at a Thursday arraignment of five counts of first-degree theft, money-laundering, eight counts of forgery, seven counts of first-degree identity theft, three counts of second-degree theft and two counts of second-degree identity theft.
Jasso, former general manager of Vancouver’s Northwest Roof Care & Construction Inc., and Dan Allen, the company’s residential project supervisor, are accused of trying to hide the profits of the company after the company’s owner of more than 30 years died in May 2012.
Allen has not been arrested in the case, which is still under investigation, said Clark County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Fred Neiman.
After the death of company owner Earl Ray, his stepdaughter, Dena Hiscock of Florida, succeeded him as president of the business. Jasso and Allen apparently wanted to make the company appear as if it were failing so that Hiscock would sell them the business, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
In June 2012, Jasso and Allen opened a bank account for the company without Hiscock’s knowledge or approval and soon began depositing the company’s earnings from roofing jobs into the account to conceal it from Hiscock, court documents say. The two men told Hiscock they hadn’t received payment for many of those jobs, court documents say. The shifting of funds caused overdraft fees of more than $4,000 in the company’s legitimate bank account.
Jasso and Allen are accused of using some of the money in the fraudulent account to pay personal expenses. For instance, Jasso is accused of withdrawing $25,500 from the account to buy himself a 2007 Mercedes Benz CLS 550, court documents say.
Jasso and Allen reduced employees’ wages while working state-mandated prevailing wage jobs in Longview, Olympia and Spokane, prompting an investigation by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, court documents say. The company now owes the department more than $90,000 in fines and assessments for prevailing wage violations.
Meanwhile, Jasso and Allen increased their own salaries without Hiscock’s knowledge or authorization, court documents say.
Jasso also is accused of forging Allen’s signature on checks and deposit slips for both the fraudulent and legitimate bank accounts when Allen was out of town. Allen, a 17-year employee of the company, was the only employee authorized to sign documents for the legitimate bank account, court documents say.
Hiscock filed a civil suit with similar accusations against the men in 2012. The civil suit has not yet been resolved.