FORT WAYNE – Robin C. Opper, age 36, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Holly Brady after pleading guilty to wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
Opper was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Opper was ordered to pay $566,618.50 in restitution.
“This is one of the last defendants to be sentenced in an massive fraud scheme involving federal charges against 31 former BAE employees arising out of false submissions for reimbursement from the employer’s tuition assistance program. All 31 defendants have been convicted of various charges of wire fraud and ordered to pay restitution to BAE for its loss which, as a result of the scheme, totaled $806,241.09. We, along with our law enforcement partners take financial fraud seriously and will take measures to obtain restitution for the victim of these offenses,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
“This sentence sends a clear message that the FBI will aggressively pursue those who commit financial fraud and vigorously investigate this criminal activity,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to use all the resources at our disposal to ensure those who believe they can profit from defrauding others face the full consequences of their actions.”
According to documents in the case, between June 13, 2013 and April 25, 2016, while employed at BAE Systems in Fort Wayne, Opper devised a scheme to defraud his employer. The scheme was used to obtain fraudulent reimbursement payment from BAE’s tuition assistance program. Opper perpetrated the scheme by submitting false documentation regarding college course enrollment in order to obtain reimbursement for tuition payments for courses he was neither registered for nor completed. In addition, Opper recruited other employees to participate in the scheme and provided them with fraudulent documentation so that they too could receive payments to which they were not entitled. Opper required those employees whom he recruited to pay him a fee for his assistance. Opper received $37,500 from BAE for fraudulent tuition reimbursements for himself and BAE paid $529,118.50 to other employees that Opper recruited into the fraud scheme.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacey R. Speith.