Former Auto Parts Factory Manager Pleads Guilty to Fraud for Stealing and Selling Parts
BIRMINGHAM—A former manager at an automobile parts manufacturer in Vance pleaded guilty today to mail fraud in connection to parts he stole from the company and sold for personal profit, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
SAMUEL LANE WOODWARD, 40, of Tuscaloosa, entered his guilty plea to one mail fraud count before U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn. His sentencing date has not been set.
As part of Woodward’s plea agreement with the government, he is to pay T.W. Fitting-N.A. $46,051 in restitution. The government also seeks to have Woodward forfeit that same amount as proceeds of illegal activity.
Woodward was acting plant manager at T.W. Fitting from Nov. 1, 2011, to Aug. 1, 2012, and production manager from Aug. 1, 2012, to Dec. 11, 2012, when the company terminated his employment, according to his plea agreement.
T.W. Fitting assembled Tire Pressure Monitoring System valves and sold wheel rims. An FBI investigation revealed that Woodward stole TPMS valves and wheel rims from the factory in 2012 and sold them for personal profit to a business associate in Georgia. Woodward acknowledged in his plea agreement that the Georgia man mailed him a $12,050 check as payment for valves and wheel rims stolen from T.W. Fitting.
The maximum sentence for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Holt is prosecuting.