published on July 21, 2016 - 8:43 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
A Fresno woman was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of embezzling more than $1 million from a local food distribution company.

Leslie Michelle Hays, 49, faces 11 counts of wire fraud on allegations she embezzled from her employer, Borges USA. As director of human resources for the Spanish-based company — which has regional headquarters in Fresno — Hays is accused of misreporting her salary, expenses and vacation time.

Based on the false payroll information, the company’s payroll processor made direct deposits into Hays’ bank account totaling more than $800,000 in inflated salary payments and $400,000 in false expenses and vacation pay, according to court documents.

Hays was hired by Borges USA in 2005, according to court documents, and was terminated around April 2014.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Fresno woman faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Borges USA is one of the largest importers and marketers of Mediterranean specialty food products, and distributes products such as olive oil under the Star Fine Foods brand.

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