The Woodlands Woman Convicted of Defrauding Employer
HOUSTON – A 52-year-old resident of The Woodlands has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Kavita Nehendra Duvvuru was a former employee of Vinmar International Ltd. Today, she admitted that while employed there, she made unauthorized charges and cash advances for personal expenses on credit cards which were only to be used for Vinmar business expenses. Duvvuru further admitted she altered the credit card statement and provided false information to conceal her fraud from the company.
Duvvuru began employment with the Houston petrochemical distribution and marketing company Vinmar in 2004. Vinmar paid the balances on several credit cards issued in the name of Vinmar’s president and another officer of Vinmar on a monthly basis. These credit cards included an American Express Plum card and two MasterCards and were used to charge Vinmar’s business expenses. Duvvuru had credit cards issued in her name on those accounts as well, but was only authorized to charge Vinmar business expenses.
Beginning in or about 2010, Duvvuru began making unauthorized charges for personal expenses on the American Express Plum credit card. Eventually, these unauthorized personal charges reached between $10,000 and $20,000 per month. She also obtained unauthorized cash advances from the MasterCard credit cards, which she used for personal expenses including payment of her property taxes and college tuition payments for her children.
In late 2016, Duvvuru made $22,359.29 in unauthorized personal charges on the American Express Plum card. She later accessed the online statement, downloaded a copy and used a software program to alter it to conceal her unauthorized personal charges. She then added a falsified charge for the same amount and attributed it to a Vinmar vendor. She also created false entries to account for the charge it to make it appear to be a legitimate Vinmar business expense. She then submitted the falsified entries to Vinmar’s accounting department.
As a result of her scheme, Vinmar suffered a loss of at least $2.5 million.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake accepted the guilty plea today and has set sentencing for Jan. 19, 2018. At that time, Duvvuru faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing. .
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.