A former benefits manager for Tyson Foods was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release on one count of wire fraud, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Western District of Arkansas office.
Brenda Blair, an employee of Tyson Inc. in Springdale, Arkansas for over 25 years, was handed the sentence after being convicted of stealing more than $550,000 from the company. In addition to the prison sentence, Blair was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $551,343.52.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Blair managed contributions into and handled administrative duties related to the Tyson Foods Inc. Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefit Plan. From June 2005 to September 2014, Blair devised and implemented a scheme to defraud money from Tyson 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, according to the press release. The scheme resulted in defrauding Tyson Inc. of over $550,000.00.
This case, which was heard in a federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Labor. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly N. Davis prosecuted the case for the United States.