AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to court documents from the Amarillo division of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Philip Ian Thomas and Hadley Lane Jones have recently pleaded guilty to charges related to wire fraud involving Westway Feed Products, a company which has a plant in Dimmit.

From about November 2016 to about March 2020, both Thomas and Jones “knowingly and intentionally and with specific intent to defraud, conspired to commit wire fraud for the purpose of defrauding Westway of approximately $474,429.62,” according to court documents.

In October 2014, Westway hired Thomas to manage the company’s plant in Dimmit and tasked him with supervising employees and plant production. In the role, Thomas had the authority to approve repairs and maintenance projects as well as conduct the direct payment of invoices up to $3,000 for those jobs.

Court documents state that one of the invoices in an amount that was above Thomas’s approval triggered a review by upper management.

Thomas created multiple fraudulent invoices describing fictitious jobs that Jones had reportedly done at the plant only having done fewer than five of those jobs. Thomas and Jones had Westway believe that Jones was entitled to payment for those jobs that he did not do at the plant in Dimmit said court documents.

Court documents said that Thomas presented to Westway that Jones was a vendor who would perform maintenance and repair work at the Westway plant in Dimmit. Thomas submitted a new vendor application form and W-9 Form that was completed by Jones as well as Jones’s banking information for payment. Jones also filed a name certificate for a fake business “Elite Welding Service” in Randall County and opened a bank account under the fake business’s name at First Convenience Bank in Amarillo.

As part of the scheme, Thomas drafted all, except for one, of the fraudulent invoices that were under $3,000 to avoid detection by upper management and submitted the invoices by email from the Amarillo Division to Westway’s finance department in Louisiana said court documents.

Thomas and Jones potentially face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 they also face a term of supervised release for up to 3 years.