Ex-Amazon manager sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Ex-Amazon manager sentenced to 16 years in prison for defrauding Amazon of over $10 million

A former Amazon operations manager named Kayricka Wortham, also known as “Kayricka Dupree” and “Kayricka Young,” has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for her involvement in a fraud scheme that resulted in the theft of nearly $10 million from Amazon.

Ex-Amazon manager sentenced to 16 years in prison.
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Wortham had admitted to the fraud charges on November 30 and pleaded guilty, but she allegedly continued to commit crimes while on release after posting bail.

As part of the judgment, Wortham is required to pay restitution to Amazon in the amount of $9,469,731.45. Additionally, she will forfeit all assets she possesses, including more than $2.7 million obtained through fraudulent means from various bank accounts.

The assets to be forfeited include a residence in Smyrna and several vehicles, such as a 2019 Lamborghini Urus, a 2022 Tesla Model X, a 2018 Porsche Panamera, and a Kawasaki ZX636 motorcycle, all of which were purchased with illicit funds.

But where did it all begin?

In August 2020, Kayricka Wortham took on the role of operations manager, granting her authority to approve new vendors and handle vendor payments. Unfortunately, Wortham exploited her position and engaged in fraudulent activities by fabricating vendor information.

She proceeded to instruct her subordinates to input this falsified data into Amazon’s vendor system. By approving these counterfeit vendors, she allowed their accounts to generate invoices for goods and services.

Wortham’s scheme involved submitting more than $10 million in fictitious invoices to Amazon, resulting in the company transferring approximately $9.4 million to settle these fraudulent vendor bills. Wortham was not acting alone in this operation.

Ex-Amazon manager sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Amazon Logo. Credit: Reuters File Photo

 

She had partners, including her accomplice Brittany Hudson, who owned a business named Legend Express that held a contract with Amazon for package delivery services.

To enhance their scheme, Wortham enlisted the help of two more individuals. Demetrius Hines, an employee in Amazon’s loss prevention department, and Laquettia Blanchard, a Senior Human Resources Assistant at the company.

Both Hines and Blanchard provided Wortham with names and Social Security numbers, which were then used to create fake vendor accounts.

According to a report, Blanchard obtained the names and Social Security numbers by using those of her relatives and associates.

On the other hand, Hines allegedly acquired stolen personal identifying information from JaQuan Frazier, who was reportedly involved in the illicit trade of such information.

After Kayricka Wortham resigned from her position at Amazon in March 2022, it was later discovered that she and her accomplices were engaged in fraudulent activities that extended beyond her departure date and continued until June 2022.

This suggests that Wortham and her co-conspirators remained involved in fraudulent actions even after she officially left the company.

After being arrested for a fraud scheme, Kayricka Wortham was taken into custody. However, in September 2022, she appeared before a judge who established the conditions for her release on bail.

Despite the charges against her, she was granted release upon posting a $5,000 bond, with the condition that she does not commit any additional crimes while on bail.

To provide some context, when a person is arrested and charged with a crime, a judge reviews the details of the case and decides whether to grant bail.

Bail allows the defendant to be released from jail while awaiting trial. However, in certain situations where the person is considered a threat to society or a flight risk, bail may be denied, resulting in the individual being held in police custody, which is known as being “remanded.”

If a person is eligible for release, the judge issues a bond order.

In Kayricka Wortham’s case, she was given a $5,000 bond, indicating that either she or someone acting on her behalf paid this amount or provided collateral to secure her release.

However, she must abide by the conditions set by the court and avoid any further legal violations while on bail.

In February 2023, a significant development occurred when a judge decided to revoke Kayricka Wortham’s bond. The decision to revoke the bond was made due to allegations of a new criminal act.

While she was on bail, Wortham and Brittany Hudson were reportedly involved in a business venture with Cru Franchising Company to open a hookah lounge in Atlanta.

However, concerns arose when Cru Lounge, a registration company, discovered information that raised suspicions. They found out about previous fraud charges against Wortham and Hudson on Amazon. In response, Wortham allegedly provided false information to Cru, claiming that the charges had been dismissed.

To support their false claims, Wortham and Hudson purportedly sent fraudulent court documents to Cru via email. These documents were forged and contained fake signatures of Chief US District Judge Timothy Batten, Sr., as well as counterfeit seals and signatures of the court clerk.

The use of forged court documents and deceptive information is a serious legal and ethical matter. Such actions are generally considered criminal offenses, potentially resulting in charges of fraud, forgery, and obstruction of justice

Passage of judgment

Ex-Amazon manager sentenced to 16 years in prison.
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In addition to receiving a 16-year prison sentence, Wortham is also facing accusations of defrauding Cru and engaging in the forgery of a federal judge’s signature and court seal. However, those charges are still awaiting resolution. Meanwhile, Hudson, James, and Burgo, who were involved in the same scheme, have been formally charged with different offenses.

On the other hand, Hines, Blanchard, and Frazier have all admitted guilt for the charges they were facing and are currently awaiting their sentencing.

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