An Irvine man faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty on Monday to embezzling nearly $3 million from an Orange County commercial real estate agency.

Varun Aggarwal, 41, created fake invoices for companies controlled by his family and friends, pocketing more than $2.7 million along the way, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Between 2008 and 2022, Aggarwal worked in the internal auditing department of KBS Realty Advisors of Newport Beach, eventually becoming the department’s director.

“Beginning at least as early as January 2012 and continuing until January 2022, Aggarwal used his position at KBS to embezzle his employer’s money,” the DOJ said in a news release.

Using information gathered from his work in the auditing department, Aggarwal had his friends’ and family’s companies approved as vendors for KBS.

He then submitted fake invoices for work that was never performed by these companies, transferring the money through these companies to his own bank account, “at times without informing the vendors that the invoices and the payments on the invoices were for his own benefit.”

He resigned his position in January 2022 when the company started investigating the invoices.

Aggarwal pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, and his sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2024.

He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.