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The Journal Gazette

Monday, June 11, 2018 3:06 pm

6th former BAE employee admits stealing from company

The Journal Gazette

Tia N. Russell pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court Monday, becoming the sixth former employee of a local defense contractor to admit stealing from the company through a tuition assistance program.

Russell, 39, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne to one count of wire fraud. She stole $11,880 from BAE Systems through the program, which provided workers upfront payments, according to court documents.

A plea agreement calls for Russell to pay back the money to BAE, a subsidiary of a British defense contractor with offices near Fort Wayne International Airport. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second wire fraud charge, the agreement states.

Five other former BAE employees have entered guilty pleas, and five more have agreed to plead guilty, court records show.

Russell and 30 other former employees stole nearly $800,000 from the company, court documents allege.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 1 a.m. Tuesday.