by: Mark Becker Updated:MONROE, N.C. —
He was, for seven years, a project manager for a Monroe paving company -- in charge of paving projects large and small. Now, Juan Guarda is in jail, charged with what might be one of the biggest embezzlements Union County has ever seen.
Police say that for six years, Guarda and his wife, Elisa Guarda, had taken money from Boggs Paving Company using a bogus company to bill Boggs for $888,000 worth of construction material they never received.
In search warrants, police said the Guardas had sent Boggs Paving 136 invoices beginning in 2006 and that Juan Guarda had authorized payment of the invoices even though they had not received any construction material.
Police say records show that Elisa Guarda had transferred money from that bogus company into her own account.
A man at the Guardas' home said Wednesday that they were not commenting on the case.
Boggs Paving released a statement saying that Juan Guarda has been fired and that they are working with police and prosecutors to build a strong case against him.