Missouri man sentenced to 33 months in prison for embezzling $854,000

Embezzlement Graphic

U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Tuesday sentenced a man who embezzled $845,000 to 33 months in prison.

Ryan S. Kent, 44, of Festus, Missouri, used a series of schemes starting in 2017 to take the money while employed as a maintenance supervisor at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Louis.

Beginning in July 2017, Kent bought supplies and equipment with his personal debit or credit card and doctored the receipts to inflate the amount of purchase before submitting them to his company. He would also submit fictitious invoices and sought reimbursement for costs that he never incurred traveling to pick up parts or equipment. He also bought supplies at Home Depot, returned them, and then sought reimbursement from the company, his plea agreement says.

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

Kent pleaded guilty in August to a felony wire fraud charge. As part of the sentencing hearing Tuesday, Judge Ross ordered Kent to repay the money. He also banned Kent from casinos.

“People who embezzle should know their crime will eventually come to light despite their best attempts at covering their tracks. In this case, Ryan Kent’s employer contacted the FBI when an internal investigation revealed possible fraud,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg of the FBI St. Louis Division. “Kent will now have time to ponder how his selfish greed earned him 33 months in federal prison.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman.