A husband and wife from Newport Coast pleaded guilty today to stealing from a consortium of seven banks, in connection with a $130 million line of credit, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.
Thomas Chia Fu, 63, and Cheri L. Shyu, 60, entered their pleas before United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. Both face a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison when they are sentenced in July.
Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, says the couple owned Anaheim-based Galleria USA, Inc., a business that imported home decor items from China and sold them in the U.S. They borrowed money on a $130 million line of credit for Galleria from the banks, which included Bank of America and United Commercial Bank.
According to plea agreements filed in the case, the couple also inflated the value of their company's inventory and accounts receivables by tens of millions of dollars in order to keep borrowing money under the revolving line of credit and hide Galleria's true financial status.
Mrozek said in total, the defrauded banks lost an estimated $4.7 million on the revolving line of credit from October 2008 to July 2009.