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Trade associations, take note. The financial operations manager of the International Intellectual Property Institute is expected to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with an embezzlement scheme that netted more than $100,000, according to documents filed April 18 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to an information filing, between December 2004 and January 2007, Maribel Guillen, who oversaw financial accounting at the organization, wrote corporate checks to herself and paid herself through petty cash. She also purchased a personal laptop with a corporate credit card. The institute, which counts a number of big law firms and Fortune 100 company lawyers on its board, is a nonprofit that helps improve understanding of intellectual property, particularly in developing countries. Guillen is the third financial officer of a D.C.-based trade organization to be charged with criminal conduct in the past seven months. In October, the former accounting director of PhRMA, Marcia Campbell, was arrested on charges of embezzling more than $223,000 from the trade association. And in December Doug Mairena, the former controller at the Federation of American Hospitals, was charged in connection with a scheme to embezzle roughly $377,000 from the group. Guillen and her attorney, Carlos Vanegas of the D.C. Office of the Federal Public Defender, could not be reached for comment. Officials at the institute also could not be reached.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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