A man from the San Antonio area pleaded guilty to receiving $ 432,000 in unearned wages as part of a fraud against Texas Chrome Transport Inc.

49-year-old Mario Martinez is the sixth person to plead guilty to a scheme that diverted more than $ 1.4 million from Atascosa, Texas, Texas Chrome Transport and related company MJR Truck Lines Inc. Atascosa is located 22 miles south of San Antonio.

Texas Chrome Transport has 208 drivers and 208 powertrains, according to the Federal Trucking Authority. The company, founded in 1975, is engaged in the transportation of fracturing sand to oil rigs across the state.

The scam was allegedly started in 2017 by Martinez’s girlfriend Veronica Rios, who remains the only accused, the documents say.

The 42-year-old Rios was an administrative assistant and payroll administrator at Texas Chrome Transport. In 2017, authorities say, she began overpaying company employees in exchange for part of the overpayment.

Rias also allegedly added to the salary of the unemployed, who gave her part of the payments received. Among them was Martinez, who had never worked for Texas Chrome Transport or MJR Truck Lines.

Prosecutors claim that from 2017 to 2020, Rios overpaid more than $ 424,000 to Pedro Gilen, a company employee, and more than $ 140,000 to Tommy Bayram. Rias also paid his daughter-in-law Amanda Hernandez more than $ 30,000 after Hernandez left Texas Chrome Transport in 2019.

Prosecutors also claim that Rias paid Maira Vargas $ 30,000 in wages and Guadeloupe Alcides $ 200,000. None of them have ever worked in any of the companies.

There were Rios, Martinez, Alcides, Gilen, Hernandez and Vargas arrested in April 2021. It is unclear when Bayram was arrested.

In addition to Martinez, Guilen, Bayrum, Hernandez, Vargas and Alcides also pleaded guilty. The verdict is scheduled for August.

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