Missouri City Woman Charged With Stealing More Than $1 Million From Former Employer
HOUSTON - Michelle Robyn Freytag, 47, has been arrested following the return of a 20-count federal indictment alleging wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Freytag, of Missouri City, is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith at 2:00 p.m. today in Houston.
The indictment, returned Feb. 11, 2015, alleges Freytag was hired in April 2009 to be the executive assistant for a Houston businessman. Freytag was hired in April 2009, according to the indictment. As early as August 2009, she had allegedly begun misusing her position and her exposure to her employer’s credit card and banking information to arrange for credit cards to be assigned in her name, but under his accounts in order to make unauthorized charges.
The indictment further alleges Freytag also began using credit cards assigned to her employer, his spouse and his businesses and then arranged for the unauthorized charges to be paid from the man’s bank accounts. The indictment sets forth a sampling of the alleged fraudulent spending by Freytag, which includes cash advances, commercial air travel for friends and family members, household items such as thousands of dollars in furniture and a 75” Samsug television as well as charter air travel on a private jet based out of Houston.
In total, the indictment alleges Freyag stole approximately $1.3 million prior to being terminated in January 2014.
If convicted, Freytag faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the 18 counts of wire fraud. The aggravated identity theft charge will also carry a possible punishment of a mandatory 24 months which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed, upon conviction. A maximum fine of $250,000 could also be imposed on all of the charges.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Varnado is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.