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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, April 14, 2018 1:00 am

Another employee charged in BAE scam

25th worker accused; plea deal arranged

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

The list of employees charged in an alleged scheme to defraud BAE Systems through a tuition assistance program continues to grow.

Terrell D. Ward-Thomas was charged Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne with wire fraud. She is the 25th employee of the defense contractor with offices in the city to be charged in the scheme.

She will plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and pay back $6,750 she allegedly stole, according to a plea agreement.

BAE, a subsidiary of a British defense contractor, changed its tuition assistance program in 2013 to allow for upfront payments to workers who signed up for college classes. The more than two dozen defendants allegedly pocketed more than $600,000 and never took the classes.

Ward-Thomas worked for BAE from 2006 to 2016.

Under the program, workers were required to submit information including proof of registration, a tuition bill, a completion certificate and grades. Employees allegedly used proprietary software from the company to submit information to servers in New Hampshire that included that information.

Ward-Thomas is the fourth person to agree to plead guilty. Latonya D. Smith pleaded guilty to wire fraud last week.

Also charged: Demarcus L. Benson, Tennille M. Bright, Keyana S. Brooks, Damon E. Bryant, Jason C. Butz, Stephanie M. Dates, Brian R. Dunbar, Aleece E. Good, Andre J. Hollis, Calvin J. Howell, Shynell E. Hutchins, Dawaun A. Jackson, Frank J. Martin III, Leamon D. Perry, David P. Rinderle Jr., 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