NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans man has been sentenced after he was charged with wire fraud and making false statements on his federal income tax returns.
Wayne Soniat, 61, was employed as a warehouse manager at a New Orleans food production company in Metairie.
According to U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans, Soniat embezzled approximately $437,346 from the company in a series of 200 wire transfers.
The company had no knowledge of the incident, and said that Soniat was in charge of requisite paperwork such as time sheets, and was in charge of holding all employees accountable for following procedures.
Soniat signed and submitted time sheets for "ghost employees" saying they completed work that was never done, according to court documents.
The indictment states that Soniat would then obtain debit cards in the names of the ghost employees to accept the payment for the work that was never completed.
Court documents say Soniat used the money to pay for personal expenses through ATM withdrawals.
Soniat faces a maximum term of 23 years in prison, three years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.