HOUSTON – The 42-year-old Friendswood woman charged with
committing fraud against a popular beverage company has admitted her guilt,
announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Anna Maria Sites pleaded guilty today before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson to conspiracy to commit mail fraud against Dr.
Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPSG).
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
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.