Midland Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $1 Million from Her Employer
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2012|
In Midland, 51-year-old Dora Thea Arreguy faces a lengthy federal prison term after pleading guilty this afternoon to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman. By pleading guilty, Arreguy admitted that she engaged in a 16-year-long scheme to defraud her employer and a bank out of $920,316.86. Specifically, Arreguy admitted that she, as the office manager for a business in Odessa, wrote several checks per month to herself drawn on the company’s payroll account. As office manager, Arreguy had signatory authority, but a second signature was also required, which she repeatedly forged to effectuate the fraud, thereby committing aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Arreguy altered the company’s accounting records to reflect false time sheets. In recent years, Arreguy manipulated the payroll records of other employees to reflect that the money she paid herself was money that had been earned by the other employees. But the other employees never actually received the additional money and, as a consequence, unwittingly reported a higher gross income on W-2 statements. As a result, the other employees would have been required to pay more in taxes or receive less of a refund due to the overstated earnings that they never actually received. Arreguy admitted that at least 135 employees were affected by her fraudulent scheme.
Arreguy remains on bond pending sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Arreguy faces up to 30 years in prison for the bank fraud and a mandatory two-year consecutive prison term for the aggravated identity theft violation.
This investigation was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Austin M. Berry is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.