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Texas woman guilty of stealing $1.4 million from Michelin North America Inc.

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Theresa Lopez Santos, 65, of Lytle Texas, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging her with three counts of wire fraud for defrauding Michelin North America Inc. of approximately $1.4 million over a two-year period.

Santos was responsible for billing Michelin for services provided to them by Vehicle Testing Services, which provides tire testing for Michelin.  In 2014, Michelin noticed certain discrepancies in billings from VTS and began an investigation in which VTS cooperated fully, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Santos, acting alone, had defrauded Michelin of approximately $1.4 million over a two-year period.  With the cooperation of Santos, the FBI tracked the money that had been stolen and found that she had put the money into VTS in an attempt to keep the business from failing. There is no evidence that any of the money was used personally by Santos or anyone else, the release said.

Santos faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00 for each count, according to a news release.

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