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Former SwRI worker going to federal prison

Former SwRI worker going to federal prison

A former employee at the Southwest Research Institute has been sentenced to just over two years in federal prison for mail fraud.

Thomas Moreno, 33, would order extra supplies, charge it to SwRI's account and then sell the extra stuff on the website EBay.

Investigators with the FBI believe he defrauded the company out of more than $500,000 between 2009 and 2013.

Beth Rafferty, the CFO, told the court that the loss was greater than that.  Investigators, auditors and lawyers, she said, had to spend extra time tracking down the scam.

"The riptide impact is significantly greater than the monetary value," she said, putting the loss at more than $600,000

Even Judge Fred Biery seemed to think the maximum punishment for mail fraud was too low.

"Frankly, I sometimes think the guideline sentences in these financial crimes are not enough," he lamented.

Moreno, who suffers from an unidentified mental condition that affects his impulse control, said little during today's sentencing.  He apologized to his family, which packed the rear of the federal courtroom.

The judge also ordered Moreno to pay back $589,482.

 

 

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