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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding His Employer

OKLAHOMA CITY – JIMMY WAYNE SMITH, 37, of Oklahoma City, has pleaded guilty to using interstate wire communications to defraud his employer of hundreds of thousands of dollars, announced First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

According to federal charges filed on April 12, 2019, Smith was employed from 2012 until June 2017 as an operations coordinator at ACTS, a Chickasha company that provides cooling tower rental services.  He allegedly created an entity called Axial Electric, purportedly based in California, and induced vendors that supplied equipment and parts to ACTS to purchase equipment from Axial and to invoice ACTS.  Smith is alleged to have induced ACTS to pay the vendors, who in turn paid Axial Electric, which directly benefited Smith.  According to the charges, Axial Electric was supposed to send the equipment directly to ACTS, but ACTS never received the equipment.

On April 29, Smith appeared before Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton and pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.  In a plea agreement, he acknowledged that, based on current information, he will owe $228,192.32 in restitution to Aggreko Cooling Tower Services.  The plea agreement provides that the total loss amount does not exceed $495,601.83, which would include losses suffered by the vendors.

Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days and will take into account the full scope of Smith's fraud.  He faces up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, as well as supervised release of up to three years and mandatory restitution.

These charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William E. Farrior.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Updated April 30, 2019