WARWICK, RI — The former IT Director of metals fabrication and supply business ATW Companies of Warwick has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for wire fraud against his employer, stealing $1 million over 10 years.
Juan Hicks, 47, of New Bedford, MA, pleaded guilty in March 2023 to a charge of wire fraud, admitting that he defrauded ATW Companies in a variety of ways, United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha said this morning in announcing his sentencing.
Hicks’ fraudulent schemes included using his purchasing authority to create false invoices and expense reports for purchases that were never made; altering legitimate credit card statements to make purchases appear to be business expenses, when, in fact, they were for Hicks’ personal expenses; issuing company phones to himself and six family members and then enrolling the phones on the company’s wireless phone service plan; submitting invoices and using company credit cards to purchase airline and entertainment tickets for himself, family members and friends; and using those company cards to make purchases at retail stores and auto repair centers, according to Cunha’s announcement.
According to Cunha’s office, Hicks’ criminal conduct came to light in March 2022, when his employer hired forensic analysts to determine the source of a cyberattack and to assess vulnerabilities in its computer system. Information and analysis provided by the company to the Warwick Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Attorney’s Office subsequently revealed that Hicks had embezzled more than $1 million dollars from the company since 2012.
Hicks was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to thirty-three months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release. He was ordered to pay restitution totaling $1,042,000.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
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