July 12, 2023

Ex-Amazon Manager Gets 16 Years In Federal Prison After Leading $9M Theft Scheme

Amazon Fraud

Former Amazon manager Kayricka Wortham has been sentenced for stealing more than $9.4 million from the company. Wortham used the stolen funds to make several luxury purchases, including a million-dollar home, a Tesla, and a Lamborghini and had plans to open a hookah lounge.

Seven other individuals have also been charged with the fraud scheme.

What happened?

According to US Attorney Ryan K Buchanan, Wortham abused her position at Amazon, submitting more than $10 million in fictitious invoices for fake vendors, leaving Amazon paying approximately $9.4 million to Wortham and her seven co-conspirators.

Wortham also recruited others, such as Demetrius Hines and Laqueitta Blanchard, who provided Wortham names and social security numbers, creating additional fake vendor accounts.

The sentences and charges of her co-conspirators are currently pending.

The perpetrator worked at Amazon as Operations Manager in Smyrna, Georgia, from August 2020 to March 2022, where she supervised others and worked with the authority to approve both new vendors and the payment of vendor invoices for Amazon.

She would then provide fake vendor information to unknowing subordinates and ask them to input it into Amazon’s vendor system.

She approved the fake vendors once the information was entered, enabling them to submit invoices.

In effect, these submitted fictitious invoices to Amazon falsely represented vendors and provided goods and services to Amazon, causing the company to transfer millions in fraudulent proceeds to bank accounts controlled by her and her co-conspirators.

Who else was involved?

Wortham conspired with seven others, including her partner Brittany Hudson, who owned a business Legend Express LLC, that contracted with Amazon to deliver packages to customers.

The couple’s luxury spending is what originally drew suspicion after they used the stolen money to buy a five-bedroom home just miles from the Amazon warehouse, along with a Lamborghini, a Tesla, and a Porsche Panamera, among other vehicles. They also bought expensive jewelry, charging documents show.

Wortham herself was also trying to open a hookah lounge.

What are the consequences?

Wortham was sentenced by Chief US District Judge Timothy C. Batter Sr to 16 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution to Amazon in the amount. 

“The defendant committed new crimes while on bond, even creating a fake dismissal document purporting to be from the court and that included the forged signature of the Chief US District Judge,” said Buchanan.

“Her prison sentence recognizes the magnitude of her fraud and serves to protect the integrity of our courts and justice system.”

Special Agent in Charge of the US Secret Service’s Atlanta Field Office, Steven R.Baisel confirmed that thanks to the hard work of the US Attorney’s office, her sentence reflects the seriousness of her crimes and sends a message that this kind of fraudulent activity will not be tolerated.

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Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.