Houston Area Man Sentenced for Embezzling Millions from Employer
Written by Autobody News Staff
Published Sept 21, 2023
Preston Allen Fredrich, 35, of Missouri City, TX, was ordered to prison in a long-running scheme that cost his employer millions of dollars, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced in a news release.
Allen pleaded guilty to wire fraud Aug. 17, 2022. On Sept. 20, 2023, he was sentenced by a federal judge to 21 months in prison, to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison noted the uniquely intimate nature of the crime.
From at least 2018 through spring 2021, Fredrich stole from a family-owned company located in North Houston that sold and re-fitted large trucks. Fredrich was the lead salesmen.
He orchestrated an embezzlement scheme in which he submitted fake invoices and then collected the payments for himself. He began his scheme by asking clients to send invoices directly to him, as opposed to the company. He then sent these invoices to the company with inflated expenses or unwanted upgrades, pocketing the difference.
Fredrich also admitted that as the scheme progressed, he eventually set up a bank account with another individual who ran an auto body shop that frequently did business with the victim company. Fredrich then submitted fake invoices from this company and hid them by bundling them with other legitimate invoices.
Fredrich was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Carter prosecuted the case.