Former worker faces 17 counts of fraud
The indictment alleges that through the scheme, Ruple received amounts ranging from $1,041.01 to $8,700.13, mostly on a weekly basis.
A federal grand jury in Little Rock has indicted a former controller for a Russellville-based trucking company on 17 counts of wire fraud, alleging that she used an electronic payroll system to steal more than $50,000 in 2014 and 2015.
The indictment names Gelia Melissa Ruple, who worked for Transco Lines Inc., which provides logistical services across the United States.
Transco used a third-party payroll processing company, Electronic Funds Source LLC, to which Ruple submitted Transco’s employee payroll accounts for processing, the indictment states.
She would initiate the weekly payroll process by submitting the payroll electronically from the trucking company’s office to the processing company in Nashville, Tenn., the indictment said. The processing company would then load funds to the employees’ debit cards that were created when they were hired, and the employees could access the funds directly from the cards or from their designated accounts.
The trucking company would then wire money to the processing company to pay the invoice for the service, according to the indictment.
From October 2014 through April 2015, it said, Ruple devised a scheme that involved activating closed payment-processing accounts of former or current employees. It alleges that she altered the account information so that any funds issued to those accounts would be loaded to a debit card and an account over which she had control.
At the same time, the indictment said, she altered the payroll she submitted to the processing company to make it appear that the trucking company owed payment to those particular accounts, when it actually didn’t.
Each count of the indictment lists a specific date on which it says the unauthorized payroll data was transmitted to a card or account controlled by Ruple. The indictment alleges that through the scheme, Ruple received amounts ranging from $1,041.01 to $8,700.13, mostly on a weekly basis. The amount of money alleged to have been stolen altogether in the 17 counts equals $50,555.38.