New Bedford man charged with embezzling $1M from Warwick company

PROVIDENCE – A New Bedford man faces charges of embezzling more than $1 million from a Warwick supplier of precision tubing and fabricated metal components, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Zachary A. Cunha announced on Wednesday.

Juan Hicks, 47, former IT director for the AT Wall Cos., orchestrated schemes in which he obtained goods and services for himself, family members and friends, and paid personal expenses for himself and his family, according to court documents.

Hicks’ alleged fraud also included getting reimbursement for false expense reports and fraudulent invoices he created; enrolling family members on the company’s wireless phone service plan and issuing company phones to himself and six family members; purchasing airline and entertainment tickets for himself and family members and using a company credit card to make purchases at retail stores and payments for auto repairs, according to information voluntarily provided by the company.

During a cyber-attack which took place in March 2022, AT Wall Companies hired forensic analysts to determine the source of the attack and to identify vulnerabilities. According to company officials, Hicks refused to provide his computer and passwords, as per company policy. An internal investigation revealed that Hicks had allegedly embezzled over one million dollars from the company since 2012.

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Hicks, arrested Wednesday, was charged with aggravated identity theft and was released on unsecured bond following an initial appearance in U.S. District Court.