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Federal Charges Filed In Sedgwick County $566K Theft Case

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Sedgwick County
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An FBI investigation found an “e-mail spoofing scheme” was to blame for Sedgwick County’s loss of $566,000 last fall.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court charges George James, 48, of Brookhaven, Georgia, with wire fraud.

Investigators say James sent an email to Sedgwick County, on behalf of a Wichita construction company, to request a bank account change for electronic payments.

The county’s Finance Department changed the information on file for the company Cornejo & Sons and issued payment on Oct. 7. The county intended to pay Cornejo & Sons for a road project.

The FBI says Cornejo never received the money—the payment of about $566,000 instead went to James’ bank account in Georgia.

Sedgwick County reported the theft of funds in late October after discovering the fraudulent email and vendor account changes.

If convicted, James faces a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
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