News (USA)

LGBTQ+ business leader jailed after stealing over $1.2 million from lawyers

LGBTQ+ business leader jailed after stealing over $1.2 million from lawyers
Tony Archuleta-Perkins, former president of the Golden Gate Business Association in San Francisco Photo: Screenshot GGBA

The president of the country’s oldest LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce has been indicted and arrested for embezzlement.

Tony Archuleta-Perkins, president of the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) in San Francisco, was indicted June 26 on eight counts of bank fraud and related charges stemming from the embezzlement of over $1.2 million from local law firms he worked for.

The GGBA was founded in 1974 and is the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce. Archuleta-Perkins volunteered with the organization for several years, including a four-year stint as treasurer before being elected as president by the association’s board in 2022.

In a statement, the board said Archuleta-Perkins had resigned. GGBA became aware of the indictment “when the local news broke the story.”

“The board immediately accepted the resignation of Mr. Archuleta-Perkins from the position of president and removed all of his financial- and decision-making powers,” the statement read.

“Out of prudence and caution,” the board will conduct a full audit and investigation of GGBA’s finances.

According to prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, Archuleta-Perkins started a nonprofit he called Murrieta Valley High School 1994 (MVHS 1994) to funnel money from the two law firms to his personal accounts.

As the CFO of the two firms, “Archuleta-Perkins was in a position of trust and had access to the law firms’ end-to-end payments automation platform,” prosecutors said in a statement.

“The indictment alleges that from at least May 2018 through December 2023, Archuleta-Perkins used the access he had as an employee in a position of trust at the law firms to cause the law firms to make false and fraudulent payments to MVHS 1994 that had not been authorized by the law firms’ management and were not for any legitimate business purpose,” the statement added.

Examples included a $41,663.69 payment to one of the firms which Archuleta-Perkins deposited into an MVHS 1994 account. He then wrote a check to himself in the same amount, prosecutors allege.

“The indictment further alleges that Archuleta-Perkins used the stolen money for personal expenses, including payments on Best Buy and Home Depot credit cards, and towards the purchase, renovation, and improvement of at least three properties in California,” prosecutors said.

Archuleta-Perkins appeared in federal court on July 1 following his arrest and was released on a $500,000 bond pending trial.

In June, Archuleta-Perkins contributed an op-ed to the San Francisco Bay Times LGBTQ+ newspaper. The special issue theme was “What Pride Means to Me.”

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