New Iberia men plead guilty to roles in wire fraud scheme
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that two New Iberia men pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy after admitting their roles in a scheme to create false invoices for shipments that never occurred.
Randy LeBlanc, 33, of New Iberia, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Whitehurst to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The plea will become final after it is accepted by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter. According to the guilty plea, LeBlanc worked as driver and later a dispatcher for Acme Trucking Lines (ATL) in New Iberia from February 2009 to May 2014. While employed as a driver beginning in 2011, an unnamed conspirator instructed LeBlanc to furnish waybills for shipments that had not occurred. LeBlanc did not inform the companies involved or authorities about the false invoices. In 2013, LeBlanc became a dispatcher for the terminal and continued driving for ATL. The unnamed conspirator provided instructions on creating waybills and “ghost” invoices, and LeBlanc created them until he was terminated in late 2014. After his termination, the unnamed conspirator told LeBlanc to take the blame for the false waybills. As a result of the scheme to defraud, LeBlanc personally received more than $220,000 to which he was not entitled.
Another New Iberia resident, Jahorae Johnson, 38, pleaded guilty January 30, 2017 to one count of conspiracy. Johnson worked as an ATL hot-shot driver from October 2011 to November 2014. Johnson did not have a commercial driver’s license but would make deliveries using a large pickup truck to different parts of the country. During his employment he created and submitted fraudulent invoices for trips that did not take place. Johnson stipulated that he received more than $96,000 of which he was not entitled.
LeBlanc and Johnson face up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine. The court set May 5, 2017 as the sentencing date for both defendants.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy is prosecuting the case.