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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

Friday, January 8, 2016

Former Tyson Employee Sentenced to 28 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $550,000 From Company

            Fayetteville, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Brenda Blair age 48 of Gentry, Arkansas was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release on one count of Wire Fraud. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $551,343.52. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

            According to the plea agreement, Blair was an employee of Tyson Inc. in Springdale, Arkansas for over twenty five years. As the Special Benefits Plan Manager, Blair managed contributions into and handled administrative duties related to the Tyson Foods Inc. Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefit Plan. From June 2005 to September 2014, Blair devised and implemented a scheme to defraud money from Tyson Inc. by generating fraudulent payments in the name of actual participants in the Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Plan and directing these payments to her own bank accounts. The scheme resulted in defrauding Tyson Inc. of over $550,000.00.

            This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Labor. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly N. Davis prosecuted the case for the United States.

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Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @

Financial Fraud
Updated January 8, 2016