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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fresno Woman Charged with Embezzling more than $1 Million from Food Distribution Company

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment today against Leslie Michelle Hays, 49, of Fresno, charging her with wire fraud for embezzling over $1 million from her employer, Acting United States Attorney Phillip Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Hays was the director of human resources at Borges USA, a food distribution company based in Spain with regional headquarters in Fresno. Between February 2005 and April 2014 when she was terminated, Hays embezzled funds from Borges USA by misreporting her salary, expenses, and vacation time. Based on the false payroll information, the company’s payroll processor made wire transmissions via direct deposit into Hays’ bank account. In total, Hays stole more than $800,000 in inflated salary payments and $400,000 in false expenses reimbursements and vacation pay.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Hays faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Financial Fraud
Updated July 21, 2016