Springfield Man Admits Defrauding Companies of More Than $176K in Flexible Spending Account Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JASON WHITEHEAD, 41, of Springfield, Massachusetts, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to a charge related to his defrauding multiple companies through a flexible spending account scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Whitehead worked at PayFlex, a company that administered health care and dependent care spending accounts for corporate employees. PayFlex was acquired by Aetna Inc. in 2011. Whitehead worked at the PayFlex division until approximately August 2017, when he transferred to another division at Aetna. However, he retained his employee access to PayFlex’s computer systems via his login credentials.
From September 2016 through July 2019, Whitehead defrauded multiple corporate victims of monies intended to be paid to the victims’ employees for dependent care reimbursements. Using access he had to PayFlex’s systems, Whitehead created multiple fictitious employees at three different victim companies. He then submitted to PayFlex dozens of fraudulent reimbursement claims for dependent care expenses by the fictitious employees. Through this scheme, PayFlex made $176,200 in payments to Whitehead and to third parties that Whitehead designated.
Whitehead is scheduled to be sentenced on January 19, 2021, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. As part of his plea agreement, Whitehead agreed to pay $176,200 in restitution.
Whitehead is released pending sentencing.
This investigation is being led by a Hartford Police Department detective in his capacity as a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Connecticut Cyber Task Force (CCTF). The FBI’s CCTF is staffed with detectives from the Connecticut State Police’s Cyber Crimes Investigation Unit and the Bristol, Hartford, New Canaan, Orange, Stamford, Torrington, Watertown and UConn Police Departments. To contact the CCTF, please call the FBI’s New Haven Field Office at 203-777-6311.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.