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The money was meant for COVID-19 testing. An Idaho man stole it to buy a speedboat

Idaho

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MERIDIAN (Idaho Statesman) — Money meant for COVID-19 testing at Fry Foods instead ended up in an Idaho man’s personal bank account.

Douglas Wold, 49, of Meridian was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in May to single counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Wold ultimately stole about $69,000 from the frozen food supplier and used it to buy a speedboat and trailer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Idaho.

Wold worked as a human resources manager at Fry Foods in Ontario, Oregon when he began making fraudulent checks and stealing money meant for coronavirus testing, according to a news release from the Idaho U.S. Attorney’s Office.

RELATED | HR manager pleads guilty to defrauding employer through payroll, COVID testing schemes

“The outcome, in this case, reflects our office’s longstanding commitment to hold accountable anyone who engages in corporate fraud,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, Jr., in the news release.

From May 2020 to August 2020, authorities said Wold committed wire fraud when he began submitting payroll requests for people who never worked or used to work at Fry Foods. He then deposited the payroll checks into his own bank accounts.

Investigators also say Wold committed mail fraud when he used a fraudulent invoice to steal money meant for coronavirus testing at a Fry Foods location in Weiser.

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

In May 2020, Wold sent an invoice to Fry Foods for COVID-19 testing in the name of his business, Hala Lallo Health, for nearly $40,000. However, the testing was already being provided by another company at a much lower cost. Fry Foods paid Wold’s company the money, and the money was deposited in a bank account Wold controlled. He did not pay the health care provider who did the testing.

After he serves his prison sentence, Wold will also be placed under supervised release for three years. A restitution hearing will be held at a later date, according to the news release.

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