Two Amarillo Men Found Guilty for Defrauding Cattle-Feed Company for Over $474,000
Two Amarillo Men were convicted on fraud charges after they admitted to stealing over $474,000 from a cattle-feed supplement company.
Back in October 2014, Westway Feed Products, LLC, hired 41-year-old Philip Ian Thomas to oversee operations at a plant in Dimmitt. This included the authority to spend company money on projects at the plant, but not to exceed $3,000.
A couple of years later Thomas, along with 30-year-old Hadley Lane Jones, began creating fake invoices for jobs that were never done. This started in November 2016 when Jones was added to the company's list of approved contractors, which was the inception of a four-year scheme that ended in March 2020.
In one instance Thomas created two invoices for a welding job, one for $1,490 and a second for $1,200. Jones had only completed a single project on one of the invoices that costed $495, but the contracts were completed and the invoices were paid to Jones. The two then split the money Jones received.
In the end, Jones was paid more than $474,429 from hundreds of fraudulent invoices. Nearly all the invoices were under the required threshold for project spending, except for a single invoice for $5,000.
On Wednesday, April 13th, Thomas and Jones pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The two await sentencing where they face up to 20 years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.