A former plant maintenance manager at the Tyson Foods facility in Emporia, Kansas, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud.
David John Ranger, according to court documents obtained by the Emporia Gazette, used a Tyson Foods company purchase card issued to him to pay funds into his personal bank accounts. Ranger was the plant maintenance manager in Emporia from January 2013 until September 2019. The court documents stated that his improper use of the card began around the time he was named the maintenance manager until about April 15, 2019.
According to the Gazette, Ranger was issued two U.S. Bank purchase cards by Tyson Foods in order to make general maintenance purchases for the plant. Ranger apparently established a Square Inc. account in the name of Electric Motor Repair Service – a non-existent company – using his name, date of birth and social security. Transactions between Tyson Foods and the non-existent company were made.
“It was part of the scheme to defraud that the receipts for the fraudulent transactions between Tyson and Electric Motor Repair Service were sent via email to the defendant at his Tyson email address,” court documents stated.
Ranger reportedly defrauded Tyson Foods of more than $416,000. He was initially charged on February 9 and entered the guilty plea on April 28.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 28 at the U.S. District Court in Topeka. He could face up to 20 years in prison, a five of up to $250,000, up to five years of supervised release, and restitution.
The Emporia plant produces raw cuts of beef, pork and chicken for foodservice and retail. The facility was obtained by Tyson Foods in 2001 as part of Tyson’s acquisition of IBP Inc. The plant was converted into a specialty meats facility in 2008, and it underwent a line expansion, valued at $3 million, in 2014.