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.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - LINDA SATTER

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.

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