Former TWC Employee Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

August 18, 2004

U. S. Attorney Johnny Sutton reported that 55-year-old Irma M. Richie, a former Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) employee, her daughter, 35-year-old Mary A. Richie and son-in-law 35-year-old David Murillo pled guilty to federal charges in connection with a scheme to defraud TWC of approximately $167,000.

Appearing before United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, Irma and Mary Richie each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of mail fraud; David Murillo to one count of mail fraud.

From March 1997, to February 2001, the defendants were involved in a mail fraud scheme whereby they submitted false unemployment insurance claims to TWC. At the time, Irma Richie was employed by TWC and processed fraudulent written claims. The defendants also used the TWC’s TeleServ telephone system to submit fraudulent claims for payment. TWC mailed payment checks to the defendants and other individuals based upon the fraudulent information.

Irma and Mary Richie each face up to 10 years in federal prison; David Murillo, up to 5 years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19, 2004.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and Texas Workforce Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Moore is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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