Man suspected of stealing $150K from former employer

He allegedly used Hewlett Packard credit cards to make personal purchases

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver man appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of using his former employer’s corporate credit cards to make unauthorized purchases of more than $150,000 on personal goods.

Paul R. Fite, 52, allegedly used credit cards belonging to Hewlett-Packard Co. to deposit cash into his personal checking account and to pay for food, plane tickets, accommodations, car rentals and other property for his family and members of his paintball team.

He also used his corporate credit card to buy a military cargo truck for $3,960, then sold it for $7,500 in 2013, according to a court affidavit. The unauthorized purchases occurred between January 2011 and March 2013, said Deputy Prosecutor Randy St. Clair.

“This was extensive criminal conduct over a period of time and involved a violation of trust,” St. Clair said Friday.

Fite is scheduled to be arraigned May 2 on charges of trafficking in stolen property, forgery and first-degree theft. Judge Robert Lewis appointed Vancouver attorney Jeff Staples to defend him. The judge also released Fite from jail but ordered him to check into the supervised release program.

Fite appeared in court Friday in a wheelchair. Court records indicate he has several medical issues and has been unemployed for about one year since Hewlett-Packard terminated him.

He has no criminal record.