Former Energy Company Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling
HOUSTON – A former employee of Southwestern Energy Co. has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $450,000 from the company, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Southwestern Energy Co. employed Kendra Walker, 28, of Houston, in its accounts payable department. Beginning in February 2014, she admitted she abused her position to access the company’s accounts payable system and fraudulently change bank account information for some of its vendors to instead list bank accounts that she controlled. She then caused the company’s accounts payable system to issue payments for invoices that, in reality, the vendors did not submit. Instead, because Walker had changed the vendors’ bank account information, these payments transmitted money into ban2 accounts that she controlled.
From February 2014 to February 2015, Walker embezzled $452,025.56.
She was convicted of four counts of wire fraud, on each for which she faces up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a $250,000 maximum fine or twice the pecuniary gain or loss. She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing, set for June 26, 2016.
FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Chu is prosecuting the case.