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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:37 pm

7th BAE employee pleads guilty to tuition scheme

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne woman pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court today, becoming the seventh former employee of a local defense contractor to admit stealing from the company through a tuition assistance program. 

Amber N. Szajna, 33, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne to one count of wire fraud. Prosecutors agreed to drop two other wire fraud charges in exchange for the guilty plea. 

She is among 31 BAE Systems workers accused of taking part in a scheme that netted nearly $800,000 for employees who signed up to take college classes and pocketed reimbursements but never took the classes.
 
Szajna, who worked for the company from 2009 to 2016, stole $18,750 through the program. BAE, a subsidiary of a British defense contractor, has offices near Fort WayneInternationalAirport and changed the program in 2013 to allow for upfront payments.
 
For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Wednesday.