Archive for Thursday, July 23, 2009

Huhtamaki employee indicted for wire fraud

July 23, 2009

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Joseph S. Bowen, 34, Kansas City, Mo., is charged with eight counts of wire fraud. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at various times from April 12, 2006, to Aug. 8, 2008, in Wyandotte County, Kan.

A grand jury returned the indictments Tuesday.

According to the indictment, Bowen worked as “deductions coordinator” for Huhtamaki U.S., a specialty packaging company with headquarters in De Soto. The company provides consumer goods, packaging and food service containers, as well as a line of premium disposable tableware. Bowen’s duties included receiving invoices from vendors and processing payments to vendors and customers who qualify for rebates for large volume discounts, special promotions or refunds for overpayment.

Bowen redirected vendor and customer payments into his personal bank account by making false entries into the company’s accounting system.

He attempted to hide his activities by using another employee’s username and password to access the computer system. As a result, wire transfers were made from Huhtamaki’s Bank of America account, processed through the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, and eventually paid to Bowen’s Bank of America account in Richmond, Va. Bowen fraudulently cased a series of wire transfers to be made in the following amounts: $1,682; $5,981; $8,696; $19,891; $9,639; $16,866; $77,300 and $55,611.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. The FBI worked on the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.

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