A former Amazon manager in Georgia has been sentenced for stealing over $9.4 million from the online retail giant, according to federal authorities.
Kayricka Wortham, 33, was among seven people charged in a scheme that netted millions of dollars between 2020 and 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Defendants Lived Lavishly While Scamming Amazon, Purchasing Luxury Cars, Real Estate
At the time, Wortham worked as an operations manager at Amazon’s warehouse in Smyrna.
The DOJ claims Wortham and another employee, Brittany Hudson, lived lavishly during the scheme. Additionally, they allegedly treated themselves to high-end jewelry, WSB-TV reported in December.
The pair were reportedly “in a relationship” and also purchased a million-dollar home in Smyrna, a 2019 Lamborghini Urus, a 2021 Dodge Durango, a 2022 Tesla Model X, and a 2018 Porsche Panamera with the stolen funds.
Wortham and Demetrius Hines, 36, both former Amazon employees, allegedly obtained the money after submitting fraudulent invoices for vendors that did not exist, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in December.
The two pled guilty to their involvement in the scheme last year, according to WSB-TV. Meanwhile, the others were charged last month and pleaded guilty on June 27.
“A federal grand jury indicted Brittany Hudson, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Jamar L. James, Sr., 47, of Calera, Alabama, for conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering, and Hudson for forging the signature of a federal judge and seal of the Court,” the DOJ said.
Kayricka Wortham, former Smyrna mgr, plus 6 others, former manager at Amazon in Atlanta has been sentenced for stealing ovee $9.4 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
— John & Holly Quinn (@JohnNHolly30248) July 6, 2023
Wortham Described As “Ring Leader” Of Scheme To Defraud Amazon
The DOJ continued: “Darrel J. Burgo, 32, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was charged in the same indictment with conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. These charges are pending.”
Authorities described Wortham, also known as “Kayricka Dupree” and “Kayricka Young,” as the “ring leader” of the scheme, according to the Atlanta Register.
The Department of Justice also claims Wortham and Hudson continued their criminal enterprise just a month after bonding out for the crimes. Authorities were alerted to their continued fraud scheme after they attempted to open a hookah lounge in Atlanta.
Wortham and Hudson reportedly lied to the franchising company when asked about the Amazon fraud charges. The two had allegedly claimed the charges had been dismissed to close the deal, per WSB-TV.
Wortham Ordered To Repay Money Back To Amazon, Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison
The DOJ also accuses them of forging official court seals and signatures to convince the franchising company that the Amazon charges were dropped.
Wortham will now have to repay the stolen money to Amazon. She’s already forfeited roughly $2.7 million of the stolen funds, the United States Attorney’s Office reports. Authorities have also confiscated the luxury cars she purchased.
She’s been indicted for forging a federal judge’s signature and seal of the court in connection to the fraudulent hookah bar deal, as well. Those charges remain pending as of Thursday (Jul. 6).
The outlet reports that Wortham has been sentenced to serve 16 years in federal prison. She will then be subject to three years of supervised release.
Seven people, including Wortham, have been charged for their roles in the “staggering” fraud scheme, according to the DOJ.
Her co-defendants have yet to be sentenced.