KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) – A Buckner, Missouri, woman, Brooke Brooks, was sentenced in federal court today for a more than $160,000 embezzlement scheme while employed at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence, Mo.
Brooks, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to 18 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Brooks to pay $163,493 in restitution.
On Jan. 18, 2019, Brooks pleaded guilty to stealing government property.
Lake City is a U.S. Army facility previously operated by Orbital Alliance Tech System, a defense system contractor. Brooks was employed by a company called Fastenal, a subcontractor for Orbital Alliance Tech System engaged in daily operations of the Lake City plant. Brooks was responsible for ordering materials and equipment for the plant.
Brooks admitted that, in her role with Fastenal, she over-ordered equipment – such as power washers, electric drills, and electric saws – paid for by Orbital Alliance Tech System. Brooks re-sold the excess equipment on Craigslist, Ebay, and to other employees working at Lake City. Brooks advertised these items to employees working at the Lake City plant by claiming that it was part of a Fastenal tool sale, where on occasion, the company ordered an excess of certain items and was selling them at discounted prices to reduce inventory. Because the items cost Brooks nothing, and were being sold at prices well under retail, she had no difficulty selling the items.
Brooks engaged in a variety of fraudulent practices to alter invoices for plant equipment, such as changing the description of products, deleting invoices, combining part numbers, and over-ordering. The federal government paid the amount reflected on the doctored invoice, but Brooks only delivered the actual quantity ordered by Orbital Alliance Tech System, thus leaving her with a surplus that she sold on the side.
Brooks fraud scheme resulted in a loss of $163,493. Her scheme was discovered when the plant’s security manager received a complaint from another Lake City employee that he hadn’t received the equipment he ordered from Brooks. The security manager then began an investigation and contacted the FBI.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Venneman. It was investigated by the FBI.