OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 22, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH KANSAS CITY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD,
FORMER EMPLOYEE EMBEZZLED OVER $3 MILLION
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former employee of Ferrellgas, Inc., pleaded guilty in federal court today to wire fraud and money laundering, related to his embezzlement of more than $3 million from the company.
Scott J. Beeson, 52, of North Kansas City, Mo., waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to the charges contained in a federal information.
Beeson was employed at the Ferrellgas office in Liberty, Mo., as manager of the fleet department from August 1995 to March 2008. By pleading guilty today, Beeson admitted that he engaged in a fraudulent scheme to embezzle more than $3.25 million from Ferrellgas between January 2002 and March 2008.
Beeson admitted that he created invoices purportedly from a Ferrellgas vendor, Helgers Trucking and Sales, for work that was not done. Beeson, in his position as fleet manager, approved and submitted the false invoices from Helgers Trucking to the account payable department. When Ferrellgas issued checks to Helgers Trucking, the company returned 95 percent of the funds to Beeson. Beeson then deposited or had funds credited to his personal bank account or to the bank account of Prominent Youth, Inc., a non-profit organization founded and controlled by Beeson. The total amount that Beeson caused to be falsely billed to Ferrellgas exceeded $3,250,000.
Beeson also admitted that he requested or created invoices from Ferrellgas vendor Ideal Solutions for work that was not done. When Ferrellgas paid those false invoices, Ideal Solutions returned funds to Beeson for deposit into his personal bank account or to the Prominent Youth bank account.
The federal information charges Beeson with one count of wire fraud related to a $34,946 wire transfer that occurred on Feb. 14, 2008, as part of his scheme to defraud Ferrellgas. Beeson is also charged with one count of money laundering related to a monetary transaction involving funds that were derived from the unlawful wire fraud. Beeson used the proceeds of the wire fraud to cause a $24,000 cashier’s check to be issued to Prominent Youth on Feb. 15, 2008.
Under federal statutes, Beeson is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
By pleading guilty today, Beeson agreed to sign over his ownership of his Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) account as partial payment of restitution to Ferrellgas.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at