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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 05, 2018 1:00 am

2 more former BAE employees to plead guilty in fraud case

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Two more former employees charged with defrauding defense contractor BAE Systems will plead guilty.

David P. Rinderle Jr. is one of 24 former employees charged in a federal wire fraud case alleging workers stole more than $500,000 through a tuition assistance program the company set up in 2013. 

He agreed last week to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne. Prosecutors will dismiss three other charges, according to the plea agreement. 

A plea hearing is scheduled for April 16. 

Brian R. Dunbar was charged Wednesday and also agreed to plead guilty, according to court documents. His plea hearing is scheduled for April 19.

Rinderle, Dunbar and others allegedly pocketed money through the program, which offered upfront payments rather than reimbursements. Amounts allegedly stolen from 2013 to 2016 range from $11,880 to more than $55,000. 

Rinderle's is the second guilty plea in the case, and Dunbar's is the third.

Latonya D. Smith filed paperwork in March to plead guilty. 

The three face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000. Plea agreements call for Rinderle, Dunbar and Smith to pay back BAE, which has offices near Fort Wayne International Airport.  

All have agreed to testify against others charged.  

The company provides parts to aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It changed its tuition assistance program in 2013 to allow for upfront payments, and employees allegedly began filing requests soon after and pocketed money without taking classes.  

Rinderle, who worked for BAE from 2007 to 2016, filed four requests, according to an indictment handed down Jan. 24. He allegedly stole $30,750. 

Dunbar allegedly stole $12,500. He worked at the company from 2007 to 2016, according to court documents. 

Smith admitted to stealing $27,000 from the company.  

Also charged are Demarcus L. Benson, Tennille M. Bright, Keyana S. Brooks, Damon E. Bryant, Jason C. Butz, Stephanie M. Dates, Aleece A. Good, Andre J. Hollis, Calvin J. Howell, Shynell E. Hutchins, Dawaun A. Jackson, Frank J. Martin III, Leamon D. Perry, Tia N. Russell, Tonya L. Sterling, Amber N. Szajna, Detrick D. Tubbs, Marjorie R. Warfield, Therese B. Whitsett, Darlene V. Wilson and Nicholas A. Young.  

mleblanc@jg.net