BATH — The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 45-year-old David Altenburg at his home on Western Avenue in Bath on Thursday on a warrant for four counts of wire fraud.

Court documents allege that Altenburg embezzled $2.79 million while working from home for a Portland-based financial firm as a trading analyst with a base salary of $67,000.

FBI spokesperson Kristen Setera said Altenburg was taken into custody without incident and was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland Thursday afternoon.

FBI special agent Kevin M. McCusker states in an Oct. 14 search warrant affidavit that the bureau became aware on Sept. 15 of the alleged embezzlement by Altenburg.

Members of the FBI arrested a Bath man at his Western Avenue home Thursday morning and searched the home and seized four vehicles. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

McCusker writes that Altenburg transferred funds from accounts under the control of the financial firm to his own personal accounts at USAA Federal Savings Bank without the knowledge of the financial firm. This was done through more than 100 financial transactions between February 2019 and September 2020, the affidavit states.

Altenburg and his wife, Heather Altenburg (also known as Heather Bryant), then allegedly spent the embezzled money. Since February 2019, the couple spent more than $1 million on expensive jewelry, watches and accessories; more than $79,000 on clothing and more than $70,000 on leisure travel and restaurants, according to the affidavit.

The couple also spent the money on vehicles, debt payments and to fund at least one brokerage account, McCusker adds.

McCusker writes that Altenberg conducted approximately 24 debit card transactions totaling $124,000 at a jewelry and watch retailer in Bath.

The FBI also seized four vehicles from the home including a Mercedes AMG, BMW MS, BMW X4 and an Infiniti QX89.

The FBI searches a home on Western Avenue in Bath Thursday. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

The chairman and CEO of the financial firm noticed a large unexpected transaction of $350,000 involving one of the funds the firm manages. After confronting Altenburg, who said it was a mistake, the CEO got an email from Altenburg on Sept. 15 stating that he was “sorry but I have made some very major mistakes with these accounts.”

Altenburg wrote that he had been battling substance abuse issues, and had family difficulties,” court documents state.

Setera declined to answer additional questions and court documents did not identify which firm Altenburg worked for.

Neighbor Amy Small said she noticed agents swarming the house at 12 Western Ave. when she awoke at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Police cordoned off the home with yellow police tape as FBI agents continued searching the home. Agents occasionally walked to a utility truck with bagged items. Western Avenue at times became constricted with police vehicles and the two tow trucks. Western Avenue road runs between High Street (Route 209) and U.S. Route 1.

Small said Aldenburg’s wife told her recently they’ve lived there for three years.

“The only thing we can say is we’re providing very limited local assistance to the FBI who are conducting an active investigation, and there’s no danger to the public,” Bath Deputy Police Chief Andrew Booth said Thursday afternoon.

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