Two former employees of a Louisiana trucking company have pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy after admitting their roles in a scheme to create false invoices for shipments that never happened.
One of the defendants, Randy LeBlanc, 33, of New Iberia, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Whitehurst to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Monday. The plea will become final after it is accepted by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter.
According to the guilty plea, LeBlanc worked as a driver and later a dispatcher for Acme Trucking Lines in New Iberia from February 2009 to May 2014. Court records state that while employed as a driver beginning in 2011, an unnamed conspirator instructed LeBlanc to furnish waybills for shipments that had not occurred. LeBlanc later became a dispatcher for the terminal in 2013, but continued driving for ATL.
Another former ATL driver and New Iberia resident, Jahorae Johnson, 38, pleaded guilty January 30, to one count of conspiracy. Johnson, who did not have a commercial driver’s license, worked as an ATL hot-shot driver from October 2011 to November 2014, and would make deliveries using a large pickup truck to different parts of the country. During his employment he created and submitted fraudulent invoices for trips that did not take place.
Court records in both cases indicate the unnamed co-conspirator provided instructions on creating waybills and “ghost” invoices, and LeBlanc created them until he was terminated in late 2014. After his termination, the unnamed conspirator told LeBlanc to take the blame for the false waybills. As a result of the scheme to defraud, LeBlanc personally received more than $220,000 to which he was not entitled. Johnson stipulated that he received more than $96,000 to which he was not entitled.
Both men face up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing hearing is set for May 5.
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