Six Arrested in $1M Payroll Fraud Scheme
SAN ANTONIO – Six defendants were arrested in San Antonio on criminal charges related to their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud two transportation companies of over $1 million.
According to court documents, Veronica Rios, 42, of Salado; Pedro Guillen, 48, of San Antonio; Mario Martinez, 48, of Von Ormy; Guadalupe Alsidez, 47, of San Antonio; Amanda Hernandez, 23, of San Antonio; and Maira Vargas, 37, of San Antonio defrauded the transportation companies of over $1,407,000 through a payroll scheme. According to the indictment, Rios processed payroll for the companies. In 2017, Rios started overpaying employees in exchange for some of the overpayment. To further the scheme, Rios also added non-employees to the payroll who gave Rios part of the payments they received.
Rios, Martinez, and Alsidez were arrested on April 19. Guillen, Hernandez and Vargas were arrested on April 21. Guillen, Hernandez and Vargas are on bond. Rios, Martinez and Alsidez are in custody pending detention hearings.
Veronica Rios is charged with 18 counts of wire fraud for fraudulent payments she made to various employees. Each of the remaining defendants is charged with three counts of wire fraud for fraudulent payments they received from Rios. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, made the announcement.
The FBI is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daphne Newaz is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.