San Francisco advertising exec pleads guilty to fraud charges

The chief operating officer of a San Francisco advertising firm pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud.

Prosecutors said Andrew Chapin, CEO of Benja Inc., admitted in his plea agreement to falsifying statements, fabricating accounts receivables from large companies with which he did no business, and impersonating corporate representatives, as part of a scheme between from June 2019 to September 2020 that swindled banks and investors of more than $3.5 million.

Chapin's guilty plea was before United States District Judge Maxine M. Chesney following an investigation conducted by the FBI. The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.