Las Vegas, Nevada - A former employee of the Las Vegas Valley Water District has been indicted by the federal grand jury on multiple mail fraud charges for her role in a scheme to defraud the public utilities company of over $6.7 million, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
“Nevada residents pay for this type of financial fraud through inflated costs and loss of faith in government,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We are committed to the vigorous enforcement of financial fraud crimes, and encourage residents to report suspected financial crimes to your local police department or the FBI.”
Jennifer J. McCain-Bray, aka JJ McCain, 41, of Las Vegas, is charged with six counts of mail fraud and criminal forfeiture. McCain was arrested Thursday morning in Las Vegas by FBI Special Agents, and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr. for an initial appearance and arraignment and plea. McCain pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a personal recognizance bond pending trial. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
According to the indictment, McCain began working for the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) in October 2001 as an office assistant. In February 2004, she was promoted to purchasing assistant, and in October 2007, she was promoted to purchasing analyst. McCain was responsible for transmitting orders and payments to vendors when particular products were requested from LVVWD departments and employees. From about Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 7, 2015, McCain and unidentified others allegedly devised the scheme to defraud the LVVWD by fraudulently representing that McCain’s purchases of ink and toner cartridges were for the LVVWD, when they knew that the products were for the benefit of a New Jersey company which received and resold the cartridges for its own profit. McCain instructed the vendor to ship the ink and toner cartridges from California and other locations to her at her LVVWD office in Las Vegas. McCain then relabeled the packages and shipped them to the New Jersey company. In exchange, the New Jersey company transferred money and other things of value to McCain’s personal PayPal account. Between 2007 and 2015, McCain fraudulently purchased approximately $6.7 million in ink and toner cartridges with LVVWD funds.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns.
This prosecution is part of efforts underway by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.com.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.