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Orange County

Embezzler Told to to Repay Millions

June 03, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A Foothill Ranch resident who pleaded guilty to embezzling $10 million was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution to his former employer, Zurich Payroll Solutions, the U.S. attorney's office said Monday.

Keith Taylor, 44, pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud for writing hundreds of checks -- some for as much as $49,000 -- to himself on Zurich's accounts. The embezzlement occurred from 1999 to 2002, when Taylor was controller of Zurich and its subsidiaries, Zurich Payroll Operations Limited and Daton Pay USA Inc.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered Taylor to pay $10.6 million in restitution. Taylor must pay $5,000 immediately, an additional $460,000 in 90 days, and $1,000 a month until restitution is complete.

It was unclear where the money went, but authorities said they believe Taylor gambled most of it away.

Zurich Payroll was a majority-owned venture capital investment of Global Asset Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services. Global Asset Holdings referred the matter to the FBI for investigation, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Zurich Payroll was sold to ADP in February 2002.

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