Employee pleads guilty to stealing $854,000 from a Missouri company

Embezzlement Graphic

A man from Missouri on Wednesday admitted embezzling $854,544 from his employer via a series of schemes since 2017.

Ryan S. Kent, 44, of Festus pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge John A. Ross to a felony wire fraud charge. He admitted that while a maintenance supervisor at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Louis, he falsely sought and received reimbursement for fictitious purchases and travel in a variety of ways.

Kent was responsible for repairing broken equipment or buying new equipment. Beginning in July 2017, Kent bought supplies and equipment with his personal debit or credit card, and then doctored the receipts to inflate the amount of purchase before submitting them to his company, he admitted in his plea. He would also submit completely fictitious invoices and sought reimbursement for costs that he never incurred to travel to pick up parts or equipment.

He also bought supplies at Home Depot, returned them, and then sought reimbursement from the company, his plea says.

The plea says Kent used the money for personal bills, to redo his backyard, and to buy a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2021 Cadillac Escalade, and to travel to Las Vegas to gamble   

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Kent will also be ordered to repay the money at his sentencing hearing, scheduled for Nov. 9.

The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman is prosecuting the case.