According to a press release, Susan Michelle Tyson, 50 of Yukon, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton to wire fraud relating to her theft of $467,352.43 from the Oklahoma Operating Engineers Welfare Plan ("the Plan"), announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
On June 12, 2017, the United States Attorney filed an Information charging Tyson with devising a wire fraud scheme to steal from the Plan, which provides health and welfare benefits to eligible participants and their dependents pursuant to collective bargaining agreements with Local Union 627 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Tyson worked in Oklahoma City as a bookkeeper for Zenith American Solutions, Inc., which managed the Plan’s assets.
Her responsibilities included receiving bills from vendors that provided services to the Plan and paying the bills by initiating cash transfers from the Plan’s accounts to the vendors’ accounts. According to the Information, between July 11, 2014, and January 20, 2017, Tyson transferred cash from the Plan’s operating account to her personal bank accounts approximately 33 times.
She submitted duplicate invoices to the Plan to make it appear that the transfers were legitimate. She used the proceeds for her personal benefit, including attempting to make a down payment on a house.
At sentencing, Tyson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. As part of her plea agreement, she has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $467,352.43. Sentencing will be set by the Court at a future date.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Hale and William Farrior prosecuted the case.