LAWFUEL – US Law News – The former office operations manag…

LAWFUEL – US Law News – The former office operations manager for the Santa Ana office of Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte and Touche USA LLP, pleaded guilty this morning to federal charges for bilking her employer out of more than one-half million dollars.

Jamie Watkins, 49, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty this morning before United States District Judge David O. Carter in Santa Ana. Watkins specifically pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

Watkins exploited Deloitte expense reimbursement programs to defraud the firm from June 2000 until October 2003. The government believes that Watkins used several schemes to defraud the firm out of approximately $550,000, though Watkins contends that the loss figure is less.

In one scheme, Watkins used her company credit card to pay for personal items knowing Deloitte would pay the account balance. Using her company credit card, Watkins paid her property taxes, bought home furnishings, purchased and installed an air-conditioning unit for her home, purchased a wine cellar for her home, and bought luxury items such as jewelry.

Second, Watkins sought and received reimbursement payments for purported business-related purchases that Watkins paid for with a company credit card. Watkins had no out-of-pocket expenses, but she submitted documentation claiming business-related expenses.

Finally, Watkins created false invoices for non-existent purchases, and she submitted reimbursement forms with phony receipts and invoices to receive reimbursements.

Based on the fraudulent acts and false representations Watkins made, Deloitte made reimbursements and paid off the account balance on Watkins’s company credit card.

Judge Carter scheduled a hearing to determine the loss figure on May 21. Judge Carter is expected to sentence Watkins at a later date. At sentencing, Watkins faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Brett Sagel
(714) 338-3598

Release No. 07-015

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