Brenda Blair, 48, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release on one count of wire fraud related to her actions while an employee at Tyson Foods.
She was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks to pay restitution in the amount of $551,343.52.
According to the plea agreement, Blair was an employee of Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas for more than 25 years. As the special benefits plan manager, Blair managed contributions into and handled administrative duties related to the Tyson Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefit Plan. From June 2005 to September 2014, Blair devised and implemented a scheme to defraud money from Tyson Inc. by generating fraudulent payments in the name of actual participants in the Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Plan and directing these payments to her own bank accounts. The scheme resulted in defrauding Tyson Inc. of over $550,000, according to a statement from Kenneth Elser, acting U.S. Prosecuting Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Department of Labor. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Davis prosecuted the case for the United States.