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HR manager charged with defrauding employer through COVID-19 testing scheme

Coronavirus

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The following is a news release from the Idaho U.S. Attorney’s Office.

BOISE -– Douglas Wold, 48, of Meridian, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on eleven counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering for a alleged scheme involving COVID-19 testing.

The indictment was issued on Sept. 10.

Court records show Wold worked as a Human Resources Manager for Fry Foods, Inc. in Ontario, Oregon. The indictment alleges that beginning in at least May 2020 and continuing through August 2020, Wold caused fraudulent payroll checks to be issued. Wold then deposited these fraudulent payroll checks into bank accounts in his control.

According to the indictment, Wold arranged for COVID-19 testing for Fry Foods’ employees at their Weiser, Idaho facilities in May 2020. Wold issued a fraudulent invoice to Fry Foods in the name of his business, Hala Lallo Health, for $39,995 when, in fact, the testing was provided by another entity and at a materially lower cost. When Fry Foods paid Hala Lallo Health for the testing, Wold deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled.

With respect to the money laundering count, the indictment alleges that Wold transferred $69,116.48 in proceeds from his frauds for the purchase a speedboat and trailer.

Each count of wire fraud and mail fraud carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Money laundering carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

Wold was arraigned on Sept. 14, where a trial was scheduled for Nov. 2 before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Boise.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

For information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop illegal COVID-19-related activity, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, consumers may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO websites.

The public is urged to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline by phone at (1-866-720-5721) or via an online reporting form available at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form

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