Guilty plea in Tyson fraud case

by Erica Shaffer
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FORT SMITH, Ark. – A former manager at Tyson Foods Inc. pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, the US Attorney for Western District of Arkansas recently announced.

Brenda Ann Blair of Gentry, Ark., admitted to defrauding Tyson Foods of $551,343.52 over nine years in her role as special benefits plan manager of the company’s Pre-65 Retiree Health Insurance Benefits plan.

Court documents state that Blair started the fraud in June 2005. Prosecutors said Blair falsified ACH transactions by accessing the health benefit plans bank account by using the names of actual plan participants, and then diverting funds to her own bank accounts. Blair was fired on Sept. 19, 2014.

Until the fraud was discovered “Brenda Blair was a highly regarded and trusted employee of Tyson Foods Inc.,” the criminal complaint stated. Blair spent more than 25 years working for the company.
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