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Branch Manager Gets Prison for Wire Fraud

LAREDO, Texas (CN) - A former branch manager of freight manager UTI Worldwide was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for sending hundreds of thousands of dollars of company money to a fictitious company he created.

Jesus Alaniz Jr., 54, of Laredo, was also ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution.

Alaniz pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud. He was sentenced on Friday.

He admitted he created a fictitious alter-ego company called Freight Logistics Services, and wrote checks to it from UTI Worldwide's bank account.

The investigation began in December 2010, when UTI told the FBI that $950,000 had been stolen from its Laredo division in the past 10 years.

UTI suspected that Alaniz, its former Laredo branch manager, was involved.

UTI provided documentation of all its checks issued to Freight Logistics Services, which were deposited into an account belonging to FLS at a bank in Laredo.

Alaniz is free on bond, but will be sent to prison "in the near future," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

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