Pipeline Company Field Office Manager Charged with Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that an Indictment was returned by a grand jury in Scranton on December 15, 2015 indicting the former manager of the Dunmore Office of a pipeline company on charges that he defrauded his employer of $300,000 with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Kevin L. Reese, age 27, a resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, is alleged to have defrauded Sheehan Pipe Line and Construction Company through a fraudulent payroll check scheme.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the Indictment, which was unsealed today following Reese’s arrest, alleges that while managing a field office in Dunmore, Reese created and generated fraudulent payroll checks for Sheehan employees for time periods that began either before or after the employees worked for Sheehan. Reese allegedly created the payroll checks by unlawfully using the names of Sheehan employees, forged their names to the checks and used the money for his own personal gain. The scheme began in November 2014 and continued through August 2015 until the company discovered the fraud, conducted its own investigation and fired Reese.
Sheehan Pipe Line, which has its main office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Reese was an office manager for the company from 2012 to 2015. His duties included oversight of company projects in the Scranton area and management of payroll. The fraudulent checks were allegedly cashed by Reese at an on site check cashing service set up by the company.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute for wire fraud is 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count. The maximum penalty under the federal statute for aggravated identity theft is two years’ imprisonment consecutive to the predicate crime, and a $250,000 fine.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.