Fort Wayne man ordered to pay over $550K after wire fraud conviction

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A Fort Wayne man received a hefty penalty after a wire fraud conviction.

U.S. District Court Judge Holly Brady ordered Robin Opper, age 36, to pay $566,618.50 in restitution for his part in a massive fraud scheme involving 31 former BAE Systems employees.

Opper was also sentenced to 12 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

“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.

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.

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