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A former Tyson employee has pleaded guilty to defrauding the company of more than $416,000 over a period of seven years in federal court. 

According to court documents filed by then-U.S. Attorney Stephen R. McAllister in United States District Court for the District of Kansas, David John Ranger used a Tyson company purchase card issued to him "beginning in or about Dec. 2012, and continuing to on or about April 15, 2019" to pay funds into his personal bank accounts.

The original charges were filed Feb. 9. 

He was charged with one count of Wire Fraud, under 18 U.S. Code 1343. Ranger entered a guilty plea to the court on April 28. 

Ranger was employed as the Plant Maintenance Manager for the Emporia location between Jan. 2013 - Sept. 2019. During this time, he "was responsible for purchasing equipment, goods, and services necessary for plant maintenance."

Ranger was last employed with Better Life Technology since Sept. 2019. 

The case filing shows Ranger was issued two separate US Bank purchase cards by Tyson Foods in order to make general maintenance purchases for the plant. Those transactions were ultimately paid from the company's JP Morgan bank accounts. 

On Dec. 27, 2012, Ranger 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 number.

District court filings state this "was part of the scheme to defraud that beginning on September 12, 2013, and continuing until April 15, 2019, the defendant used the purchase cards issued by Tyson to pay his personal expenses."

Case filings go on to say that Ranger then "designated his personal bank accounts at Ally Bank, Community National Bank and Trust, and Core First Bank and Trust into which Square Inc. deposits for the Electric Motor Repair Service transactions were deposited."

During this time, Ranger generated fraudulent Square, Inc. transactions for Electric Motor Repair Service to Tyson, claiming the company was providing services to Tyson. 

"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's email address," court documents said. 

Payments to Ranger were made from Tyson's JP Morgan bank accounts via Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions into his personal checking and savings accounts to pay for those fraudulent transactions. 

"As a result of this scheme, the defendant causes Tyson fraudulently to pay to him funds exceeding $416,000," the court said. 

Under the terms of Ranger's plea agreement, McAllister has agreed to:

  • Dismiss the forfeiture allegation at the time of sentencing
  • Not file additional charges against the defendant arising out of the facts forming the basis for the present information
  • Recommend a sentence at the low end of the applicable sentencing guideline range
  • Recommend the defendant receives a two-level reduction in the applicable offense for acceptance of responsibility.

Ranger faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, up to five years supervised release, $100 special assessment and forfeiture and restitution. 

Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. July 28 in US District Court in Topeka. 

This story has been updated to reflect McAllister is the former U.S. Attorney in the District of Kansas. 

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