SHERMAN, Texas – The Eastern District of Texas sentenced a 57-year-old Collinsville, Texas woman to prison for federal violations, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Rosemary Wolf pleaded guilty on June 12, 2019, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant on Jan. 2, 2020.
According to information presented in court, Wolf conspired with James Michael Murray to defraud Brakebush Brothers, Inc., a food services company formerly known as Trinity Valley Foods, Inc., out of $1,207,163.32 from March of 2014 through November 2015. Wolf, in her role as Executive Assistant, conspired with Murray to set up fake business entities with similar names of legitimate Brakebush customers in order to divert company funds to bank accounts held by Wolf and Murray. Wolf caused checks to be issued by Brakebush to the fraudulent businesses and provided the checks to Murray. Murray deposited the checks in accounts he controlled and shared the ill-gotten funds with Wolf. Murray and Wolf used the funds to pay for lifestyle expenses including gambling at Oklahoma-based casinos and costs associated with owning horses.
“Businesses are vulnerable to insider thefts like this because we all want to trust our employees, especially in smaller companies,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “While companies have to rely on their employees, cases like this confirm that they should follow the old saying of ‘Trust, but verify’ as much as possible.”
On Aug. 13, 2019, Murray was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for his role in the scheme. Both Wolf and Murray were ordered to pay full restitution to Brakebush of $1,207,163.32.
Anyone with information on other participants in this scheme is asked to contact law enforcement.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Davis Brooks.