Jacksonville accountant accused of embezzling millions from trust, spending some on dancers

Richard Aboud facing 1st-degree felony charge of organized fraud

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville accountant is facing a first-degree felony charge of organized fraud after police say he embezzled between $3 million and $4 million from a trust and spent some of that money on exotic dancers.

Richard Aboud, 80, was arrested on Jan. 5. He bonded out of the Duval County jail that same day.

Investigators said he committed the fraud over the course of a decade.

According to police, Aboud set up numerous shell companies where he would transfer money from a trust that he would then use for his own purposes.

As a certified public accountant, Aboud appears to have been its trustee, according to an affidavit for his arrest warrant.

State records show dozens of companies registered to Aboud’s name.

Former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Detective James Brown said the investigation’s finding that the shell companies that authorities say Aboud set up didn’t serve any legitimate purpose could have been what clinched the case.

“There’s usually a product attached to it, and with this, they can find any,” Brown said.

The affidavit states Aboud was using the money from the trust to pay the living expenses of other people, including two exotic dancers, “whom Aboud paid money for company.” One of them received more than $82,500 over the course of about 10 months, the affidavit shows.

Aboud told police in an interview that he and the dancer had a relationship, but it had ended and she was blackmailing him. He also said he gave another exotic dancer money “to help her out.”

State records show Aboud still has a CPA license. News4JAX went to the address associated with his certification but found a different business now operating there. Records show Aboud sold the office space about a year and a half ago.

According to the affidavit, no funds had been returned as of last month.

News4JAX was not able to get in touch with the trust’s financial benefactors on Monday. News4jAX also reached out to Aboud for comment but has not heard back.

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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter