Missouri City Woman Admits to Stealing More Than $1 Million from Former Employer
HOUSTON—Michelle Robyn Freytag, 47, of Missouri City, has pleaded guilty to defrauding her former employer—a Houston businessman—of more than $1.3 million, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Freytag was hired in April 2009 to be her employer’s executive assistant. As part of her guilty plea today, she has admitted that as early as August 2009, she began misusing her position and her access to his credit card and banking information. She arranged for credit cards to be assigned in her name but under her employer’s various accounts at Whitney National Bank. As the executive assistant, Freytag was able to arrange for her personal expenditures to be satisfied with monies from bank accounts assigned to her employer or his other companies.
Over the next four years, Freytag repeated this process and obtained, without authorization from her employer, at least four additional Whitney Bank credit cards in his name, his spouse’s name and in the name of two of his other companies. Freytag obtained these credit cards by falsely representing to Whitney Bank that her employer had authorized the issuance of these cards or by falsely representing that certain previously issued credit cards had allegedly been lost and that replacements were requested by her employer or his spouse. Freytag used these credit cards to take cash advances and to make personal expenditures. She would then cause these cash advances and personal expenditures to be satisfied with monies from bank accounts assigned to her employer or his other businesses.
According to the plea agreement, Freytag’s unauthorized cash advances and personal expenditures between August 2009 and January 2014, when her scheme was discovered, totaled approximately $1.3 million.
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison accepted the guilty plea on one count of wire fraud today and has set sentencing for Sept. 29, 2015. At that time, Freytag faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Varnado is prosecuting the case.