ARCA Space CEO Arrested on Charges of Embezzlement, Fraud

Dumitru Popescu

ARCA Space Corporation CEO Dumitru Popescu was in a New Mexico jail on Sunday night after being arrested and charged of fraud, embezzlement and forgery.

The Romanian-born Popescu faces 13 counts of fraud, five counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery, according to an online arrest report. Popescu was arrested in Jonesboro, Georgia on Nov. 8 and then extradited to Dona Ana County, New Mexico. He is being held without bond.

It’s unclear whether the charges are related to ARCA Space, which is located in Dona Ana County. The company is developing a rocket booster it plans to launch from Spaceport America.

UPDATE: The Las Cruces Sun-News has a bit more on the case:

The investigation into Popescu was conducted by the New Mexico Securities Division. The special agent in charge of the case declined to comment when reached Monday, saying the case was still ongoing.

It alleges that between May 26, 2015, and Aug. 20, 2015, and Nov. 25, 2015, and Feb. 23, 2016, Popescu “did by words or conduct make a promise that he had no intention of keeping” and “misrepresented a fact intending deceive or cheat” Michael Persico, the CEO and founder of the Chicago-based telecommunications company Anova Technologies, in an amount exceeding $20,000, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Popescu, in January 2016, defrauded more than $2,500 and embezzled more that $2,500, and that he committed securities fraud seven times during 2015 and this year.