BOISE – Douglas Wold, 48, of Meridian, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering based on schemes to defraud his employer, Fry Foods, Inc., during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., today. Sentencing is set for August 27, 2021, before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Boise.
According to court records, Wold worked as a Human Resources Manager for Fry Foods, Inc. in Ontario, Oregon, and executed two separate schemes.
First, beginning in at least May 2020 and continuing through August 2020, Wold committed wire fraud by submitting fraudulent payroll requests for individuals who never worked at Fry Foods or who no longer worked at Fry Foods at the time of the payroll requests. Payroll checks were processed based on Wold’s requests. Wold then deposited these fraudulent payroll checks into his own bank accounts.
Second, Wold committed mail fraud with respect to a COVID-19 testing program at Fry Foods’ Weiser, Idaho location in May 2020. Wold issued a fraudulent invoice to Fry Foods in the name of his business, Hala Lallo Health, for $39,995 when, in fact, the testing was provided by another entity and at a greatly lower cost. When Fry Foods paid Hala Lallo Health for the testing, Wold deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled and the company that actually provided the testing was not paid.
Wold committed the offense of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity by transferring $69,116.48 in proceeds from his frauds for the purchase a speedboat and trailer.
Wire fraud and mail fraud carry a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Money laundering carries a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office.
For information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop illegal COVID-19-related activity, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, consumers may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO websites.
The public is urged to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline by phone at (1-866-720-5721) or via an online reporting form available at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form
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