San Diego Business Journal

Former Seafood Exec Sentenced to 41 Months for Embezzlement

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jaime Cuadra, who was spearheading a resurrection of the defunct United States Football League, was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to repay more than $1 million he admitted to embezzling from a local seafood company where he served as chief financial officer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Cuadra, 54, pleaded guilty in July to two felonies: wire fraud and filing a false federal income tax return. Federal prosecutors said he stole $1,089,813 from Oceanic Enterprises Inc. and its parent firm, Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc. from 2010 to 2013.

In his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff, Cuadra admitted to falsifying Oceanic’s financial records by coding illicit transfers and expenses as legitimate business expenses. While serving as the CFO, Cuadra also worked as president and CEO of the new USFL, which had been dormant since 1985.

Cuadra and business partners acquired the name, and were working on launching the spring football league with about 12 franchises next year.

The league would serve as a complement to the National Football League instead of competing against it as the earlier USFL did.

According to federal prosecutors, Cuadra used the embezzled funds to support other ventures including a T-shirt business; leasing a Porsche Cayenne; on travel, hotel stays, and meals; and a variety of purchases including artwork, designer clothing, computers and entertainment systems.

As part of his plea, Cuadra agreed to repay about $387,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service for failing to report his embezzled income on his 2010, 2011 and 2012 income tax returns, prosecutors said.

Mike Allen