DETROIT - A Detroit-area auto supply executive is scheduled to be arraigned this week on charges that he embezzled from his former employer.
The complaint against Rafael Antonio Fernandez, 38, stems from his employment with Irausa American Co., the Southfield, Mich., sales arm of Spanish interiors supplier Grupo Antolin Irausa.
Fernandez left Irausa early in 1996. After that he was a vice president at Findlay Industries Inc. in Troy, Mich. He now directs North American interior sales for Delphi Automotive Systems, the world's largest auto supplier, in Warren, Mich.
A 1996 internal audit Irausa conducted of its Southfield office alleged Fernandez used his Irausa corporate credit card and other means to run up bills for jewelry, women's shoes, a honeymoon shopping trip in California, leather furniture for his home and more, Southfield police say.
Irausa estimates that Fernandez's actions cost the company about $250,000.
The audit became the basis of the criminal complaint. The charges stem from Fernandez's alleged purchase of a refrigerator with Irausa checks totaling $1,630, according to police. Company auditors found that two used refrigerators were delivered to Irausa's office, while a new appliance was delivered to Fernandez's home in West Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Fernandez was scheduled to be arraigned last Tuesday, Dec. 8, on two counts of embezzlement in 46th District Court in Southfield, a Detroit suburb.
Police say he did not show up. The arraignment has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Dec. 15. Each charge of embezzlement carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison or $5,000.
A spokesman for Findlay declined comment. A Delphi spokes-man declined requests for an interview with Fernandez and would not comment. Fernandez's lawyer, Robert Harrison, of the criminal defense firm Robert Harrison & Associates of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., did not reply to repeated messages left late last week.