HOUSTON – A 42-year-old Friendswood woman has admitted defrauding Dr. Pepper Snapple by cheating customers in a rebate scheme. Her guilty plea was announced on Wednesday by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ryan Patrick.
Anna Maria Sites pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson to conspiracy to commit mail fraud against Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.
Sites admitted to participating in the scheme from 2010 through Feb. 17, 2015, by not paying rebates to those who had requested them. Sites handled human resources and accounting for FulFill Plus Inc., which administered the DPSG rebate campaigns. The rebates included returned bottle caps or for switching to DPSG brand drinks in restaurant/convenience store soda dispensers. DPSG paid FulFill to administer those campaigns.
Specifically, in 2014 and 2015, FulFill administered a DPSG program known as 2014 Fast Start, which paid a $75 rebate for switching to a DPSG drink in soda dispensers. DPSG paid $125,000 for FulFill to manage this campaign. Sites was responsible for rebates not being issued. Only after receiving multiple complaints would she arrange for the monies to be dispersed.
Sites sent rebate fund reports for the 2014 Fast Start rebate program to DPSG, which falsely represented that rebates were being paid when, in truth, they were not.
DPSG suffered a financial loss as a result of the scheme Sites committed. The court will determine that official amount at the time of sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Gray Miller will impose sentencing Dec. 4, 2019. At that time. Sites faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.