Brother accused of embezzling from Dane Cook

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) -- The half brother of comedian Dane Cook has pleaded not guilty to embezzling millions from the comedian and was ordered held on $3 million bail.

Darryl McCauley was arraigned Wednesday at Woburn District Court on charges including forgery and larceny. Prosecutors alleged that McCauley, 43, stole the money from Cook while being paid $12,500 a month to act as business manager for Great Dane Enterprises, Inc.

Judge Joseph Jennings ordered McCauley to document the source of any funds used to meet his bail.

Cook's attorney, Joseph Zwicker, described Cook as "very distraught" about the situation. McCauley's attorney, Robert Goldstein, said his client is innocent.

"Mr. McCauley denies taking money from his brother without his consent," he said. "He's ready to confront these allegations."

Prosecutors accused McCauley of transferring funds from Cook's business accounts to his personal accounts between July 2007 and December 2008. In one instance, McCauley forged a $3 million check written from Cook's account to himself, investigators said.

McCauley allegedly used the money to buy four cars, and to take a seven-day trip across the country, during which he rented various cars. Prosecutors say investigators raided a Maine home McCauley owned and found $800,000 in cash in a safe.

Assistant Attorney General Rick Grundy also said McCauley talked about opening a restaurant in Ireland. Grundy said investigators have yet to find much of the allegedly stolen money.

McCauley worked with Cook during much of the comedian's early career, selling merchandise at Cook's shows and managing his Web site. Grundy said McCauley worked as an officer with the state Department of Correction before quitting to work for Cook full time.

"Mr. McCauley has been critical to Mr. Cook's success," Goldstein said.

Cook, 36, suspected his brother was stealing from him for some time, prosecutors said. He recently hired a new business manager in California and had been pressuring McCauley to hand over documents. Assistant Attorney General Rick Grundy said investigators were recently tipped off to the scheme by Cook's attorney.

Cook's comedy album, "Retaliation," went double platinum. He has recently appeared in several films, including "My Best Friend's Girl" with Kate Hudson.