They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But one California woman may have kept an enemy a little too close.
Vincent Robert Eppstein, the owner of a San Jose bounce house business, was convicted on Wednesday of embezzling more than half a million dollars from a friend who entrusted him to handle her finances while she sought treatment in a long-term rehab program.
Instead of managing her finances as she had requested, he allegedly indulged in a four-year luxury shopping spree. Reported purchases include multiple Harley-Davidson motorcycles; a fleet of Segways; a diamond engagement ring; a Rolex watch; vacations to Las Vegas, Florida and Hawaii; and, generously, tickets for a friend to travel to Brazil. He is also accused of refinancing two of her properties and selling a third.
The total amount allegedly embezzled: more than $600,000. According to a release from the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office, the victim had inherited the money so that she could care for her mentally disabled mother.
When the victim confronted him, he allegedly responded by transferring her remaining $750 into his account and writing himself a check for the final 60 cents, filling out the check's memo line with: "Have a nice life."
According to the San Jose Mercury News, prosecutors used that memo against him in court, arguing that it proved he had intentionally embezzled the funds.
Eppstein argued he hadn't stolen anything from the victim.
"He figured, who is going to believe her, she's a drug addict,'' said prosecutor Victor Chen.
Eppstein faces up to 11 years in prison years when he is sentenced on November 18 for his three counts of grand theft and one count of fraud against a dependent adult, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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