A Texas woman has pleaded guilty to charges related to the embezzlement of millions of dollars from her employer, a global logistics and freight forwarding company based in Florence, Italy.
On March 27, Vika Latai Moa, 36, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, according to a Press release U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Chad E. Meacham.
Authorities say that between June 2016 and October 2019, Moa was employed as an operations manager at Savino USA in the Dallas, Texas area.
Savino USA is a subsidiary of Savino Del Bene SpA, a logistics and freight forwarding company based in Florence, Italy, which uses third-party trucking companies to provide transportation services to its customers.
According to officials, Moa was responsible for selecting and paying these third-party trucking companies.
From the US Attorney’s Office:
Between June 2016 and October 2019, Ms. Moa falsely told Savino USA employees that invoices for trucking services were due, resulting in Savino USA paying over $2.6 million to a bank account to which she had access.
For example, as part of her scheme to embezzle funds from Savino USA, Ms. Moa falsely told Savino USA employees that a fictitious company was a real transportation company. She created fraudulent invoices for trucking services the fictitious company allegedly provided to Savino USA.
Ms. Moa then ordered Savino USA to pay the fictitious company on the basis of these false invoices, knowing full well that the company did not provide any service to Savino USA, because it was not a real company and had no activity.
Moa’s sentencing is scheduled for September 22. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
She also agreed to pay $2,623,888.44 in restitution.
The case was investigated by the Dallas Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.