BATH — David Altenburg, the  Bath man who allegedly embezzled $2.8 million from the financial firm for which he previously worked, was released from custody Thursday after his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Altenburg, 45, was arrested on a warrant Thursday morning following a month-long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Altenburg allegedly embezzled the money while working as a trading analyst at a Portland-based financial firm, according to the affidavit by FBI special agent Kevin McCusker.

The name of the financial firm, described as a specialty investment advisory firm, was not included in any court documents and a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to provide the name Tuesday.

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

“It is our general practice not to identify victims in charging documents, for privacy and other reasons,” said Craig Wolff, a spokesman for the Maine U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Altenburg is charged with four counts of wire fraud, which are Class C felonies punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, according to court records.

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.

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. Wolff declined to say if Altenburg’s wife faces charges as well.

“I can only discuss what is in the public record, and cannot comment on whether an individual will or will not be charged,” said Wolff.

Court documents show that Altenburg appeared in federal court Thursday via video where he heard the charges against him. He was ordered released on an unsecured $10,000 bond which means he didn’t have to put up any personal property or pay any money. He will have to pay $10,000 if he doesn’t show up to court. No future court appearances have been scheduled yet, according to the court.

Altenburg is now under the supervision of a U.S. Pretrial Services Officer with the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, Wolff said, to ensure he is not a danger to anyone, meets the conditions of release set by the court, and that he attends all required court hearings.

As part of his conditions, Altenburg was to surrender his passport, receive medical or psychiatric treatment as directed and continue to seek employment. He is prohibited from possessing a firearm or weapon, using alcohol and unlawfully possessing narcotic drugs or other controlled substances. He also may have to participate in a substance abuse therapy program and counseling if directed by the pretrial services office or supervising officer. Altenburg may be subject to frequent drug testing, court documents show.

Attempts to reach Altenburg’s attorney for comment were unsuccessful.

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