Once trusted accountant sent to prison for $2.9 million embezzlement

The pain of the last few months seemed to spill out of Dr. Maroun El-Khoury, the accent of his native Lebanon still in his voice.

"If it was one person, Maroun El-Khoury, that Mr. Mai was trying to rip me off," said Dr. El-Khoury. "And throw me penniless."

The source of his pain and anger  sat just a few feet away.  David Toan Mai, 41-years-old, the longtime accountant of Diagnos-Techs, Inc., based in Kent who, said Dr. El-Khoury, essentially stole from his coworkers and their families, too.

"Didn't he think about those victims, your honor?" asked Dr. El-Khoury.  "I leave this in your hands."

The money Mai admitted he stole over six years much of it in checks is breathtaking.  More than $112,000 that went to the Seattle Christian school for his children's education.  Six-hundred-seventy-two thousand dollars was so called 'petty cash.' He sent more than $776,000 dollars to American Express.

More than $1.2 million he transferred to family and friends.  He even sent $100,000 to a bank in Singapore.  All of it to the tune of more than $2.9 million.

When his turn came, Mai softly apologized.

"I'm very sorry for what happened and I'm sorry for that," said Mai, standing between his court appointed attorneys.  "I wished I had a second chance. And I would not have do that again."

With that, the judge accepted the prosecutor's recommendation for an exceptional sentence of 100 months or more than eight years in prison.

She also ordered Mai to pay all but $200,000 of what he stole.   Dr. El-Khoury was asked what he feels now that his once trusted accountant headed off to prison.

He said simply, "I'll pray for him."