Utah Woman Faces Decades in Prison for Scheming Trucking Company

Salt Lake City, UT – A Utah woman pleaded guilty this week to three federal felony charges relating to her role in defrauding a trucking company out of nearly half a million dollars.

Danielle Apadaca-Roberts, 46, of St. George, UT appeared with her attorney, the assistant federal public defender, via video feed at the U.S. District Court in St. George on Monday.




 

In April, Apadaca-Roberts was indicted on one count of wire fraud and two counts of making and subscribing a false return — all federal felony charges.

She pleaded guilty to all charges.

According to court documents, Apadaca-Roberts had been employed by St. George-based Parke Cox Trucking (PCT) since 2006.

In February 2016, Apadaca-Roberts took over the job of payroll manager, a position she held until June 2019.




 

The affidavit alleges, beginning in October 2016, she devised a scheme to defraud PCT for her own personal monetary benefit.

According to court documents, Apadaca-Roberts created false expense reimbursements for the company’s truck drivers in PCT’s accounting system.

She then entered her own credit union and bank information into the system as the destination account for the fraudulent reimbursements.

The affidavit alleges Apadaca-Roberts was able to conceal the false reimbursements “by suppressing the computer-generated email notifications to the truck drivers.”

 

As a part of the scheme, Apadaca-Roberts would provide Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer files to the bank.

The act of the bank processing the ACH files resulted in interstate wire transmissions — a federal offense.

A specific example of wire fraud presented in court documents show in March 2018, Apadaca-Roberts used an ACH transmission in the amount of $3,600 from Southern State Bank to a JP Morgan Chase account, which was used to pay rent for one of her relatives.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud charge is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.




 

Additionally, court documents allege Apadaca-Roberts willfully filed false tax returns, in which she failed to accurately report income.

In 2017, Apadaca-Roberts claimed on tax returns her total income was $51,466.

However, officials claim she received an additional income of $181,874 from her scheme to defraud PCT.

In 2018, she filed a total income of $50,459, excluding an alleged additional income of $216,684 from her scheme to defraud PCT.




 

During Monday’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Paul Kohler said Apadaca-Roberts defrauded PCT out of more than $477,000 during her tenure as payroll manager.


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Utah bankruptcy records reveal Apadaca-Roberts and her husband filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on January 29, 2020 — less than four months before the federal charges were brought against her.

Sentencing is scheduled for later this year.

Apadaca-Roberts remains out of custody until the hearing, with restrictions.

Judge Kohler ordered her to “maintain employment or education until she is sentenced.




 

However, he ruled that Apadaca-Roberts is not allowed to be employed “in any fiduciary capacity … or in any position that allows any access to any credit or personal information of others.”

In addition, she is not allowed to travel outside the state of Utah, apply for a passport, or change her residence without prior approval by the court.

 


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