Controller of Plymouth Meeting business charged with embezzlement of almost $400,000

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Plymouth Township Police Chief John Myrsiades announce today the arrest of Darby Ibarguen, 45, of Chesterbrook, on multiple felonies related to the theft of more than $393,000 from Apparel Business Systems in Plymouth Meeting.

According to the announcement, Plymouth Township Police began an investigation after it was contacted after an internal audit in 2020 by the company revealed the suspected embezzlement by Ibarguen. Ibarguen has worked for the company since March of 2015 and served as the company’s controller.

In her role at the company, Ibarguen was responsible for accounts payable and receivable, payroll processing, and other duties. The ensuing investigation by Plymouth Township Police found that between September 2015 and March 2020 when the theft was discovered, Ibarguen had forged checks and made unauthorized payments from company accounts, including payroll accounts, that totaled $393,496.87.

From the announcement:

Ibarguen used various methods to defraud the company. She forged the signatures of two company executives in writing 21 checks to herself, which totaled $19,000.45. Ibarguen made 92 payments totaling $74,778.46 on her personal credit cards using ABS’s funds, as well as paid her Comcast cable bill 26 times for a total of $5,065.46. The defendant also transferred funds from the company’s bank account to her personal bank account 95 times—many times on a weekly basis—with the individual transfers ranging from $675 to $4,043 for a total of $181,895.89. Finally, beginning in 2016, Ibarguen increased her bi-weekly salary amount on documents submitted to the payroll company and added additional paychecks to herself when she submitted commission payroll for salespeople. These thefts amounted to $112,756.61.

Ibarguen was charged with multiple felony counts of Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, Forgery, Theft by Unlawful Taking and Theft by Deception. She was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Francis J. Bernhardt III, who set bail at $400,000 unsecured, and Ibarguen was released. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 22nd at 11:30 a.m. before Judge Bernhardt. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Scott Frank Frame.