Suburban Houston man imprisoned for embezzlement
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – A 35-year-old Missouri City man has been ordered to prison in a long-running scheme that cost his employer millions of dollars, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Preston Allen Fredrich pleaded guilty to wire fraud Aug. 17, 2022.
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison has now ordered him to prison for 21 months to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. In imposing the sentence, Judge Ellison noted the uniquely intimate nature of the crime.
From at least 2018 through spring 2021, Fredrich stole from a family-owned company located in North Houston that sold and re-fitted large trucks. Fredrich was the lead salesmen.
He orchestrated an embezzlement scheme in which he stole from his employer by submitting fake and fraudulent invoices and then collecting the payments for himself. He began his scheme by asking clients to send invoices directly to him, as opposed to the company. He then sent these invoices to the company with inflated expenses or unwanted upgrades, pocketing the difference for himself.
Fredrich also admitted that as the scheme progressed, he eventually set up a bank account with another individual who ran an auto-body shop that frequently did business with the victim company. Fredrich then submitted fake invoices from this company and hid them by bundling them with other legitimate invoices.
Fredrich was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Carter prosecuted the case.
Updated September 20, 2023