(BCN) — A federal judge convicted an Orinda man of multiple felonies in connection with a prepaid debit card scheme that netted him more than $1.5 million.

Alan Safahi, 61, was found guilty of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in a prepaid debit card scheme, following a nearly four-week federal bench trial in San Francisco, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and IRS Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson.

Safahi developed an elaborate fraud scheme where he collected money from clients to fund prepaid debit cards but then lied to banks about the cards’ balances, pocketing the difference to the tune of $1.5 million, prosecutors said in the announcement.

For example, a client of Safahi’s company CardEx, would buy a prepaid debit card for $100 and spend $10 of that $100 balance. Safahi would then report to the bank the ‘balance’ of that card as $10 instead of $100. By doing this, Safahi was able to access the money representing the difference between the actual card balance and the amount spent and reported to the bank.

Safahi used the money he stole to pay off his company’s debt and issued himself an $80,000 check to use as a down payment to buy a house in Orinda, prosecutors said.

His fraud scheme began to unravel in 2014, when he shut down his CardEx business and directed an employee to provide the accurate balances of the prepaid debit cards to the bank, prosecutors said. Safahi had previously told the bank that there was over $93,000 on the cards but the true balance was $2.7 million, of which he had fraudulently appropriated $1.5 million.

For the bank fraud count, Safahi faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss amount. He was also convicted of four counts of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. For the money laundering count, Safahi faces ten years and a possible fine of $250,000.

The judge has not yet set a sentencing date.

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