Surprise man given prison term; ordered to pay nearly $200k in restitution.
PHOENIX, Ariz. – A former American Express employee has been sentenced for defrauding merchants from across the country. U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell ordered James Blake Delpit, 36, of Surprise to serve 21 months in prison and to pay $195,396.88 in restitution. After he is released from prison, Delpit will serve three years of supervised release.
While employed at American Express, Delpit devised a scheme to frequently siphon off small amounts of money owed to numerous American Express merchants. Between October 2007 and September 2009, Delpit embezzled a total of $195,396.88 owed to 62 different American Express merchants.
Delpit pleaded guilty on May 11, 2010, to Wire Fraud. Delpit admitted he had created a fictitious American Express account, Distributing ITL, which was linked to multiple valid American Express merchant accounts that consistently held surplus funds. Delpit then initiated electronic fund transfers from the merchant accounts into his own personal bank account through the Distributing ITL account.
Delpit hid his actions by accessing the American Express computer system through the identities and login information of seven co-workers, many of whom he had previously supervised. He justified the fund transfers by updating the computer system with false information.
The U.S. Secret Service conducted the investigation, with assistance from American Express. James R. Knapp and Frederick A. Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix handled the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: CR-10-0611-PHX-DGC
RELEASE NUMBER: 2010-241(Delpit)