A California woman pleaded guilty to selling nonexistent merchandise to Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT), scamming millions of dollars out of the medical device goliath over five years.
Jennifer Rutherford, age 40, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with the crime and admitted to devising the scheme, through which she made at least $2.1 million from Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic.
Between June 2004 and June 2009 Rutherford created three shell companies, which she pretended to buy merchandise from. She then submitted the invoices for the non-existent merchandise to Medtronic for payment.
At the time Rutherford worked for Kyphon Inc., which was acquired by Medtronic in July 2007. In her role as senior marketing manager she was responsible for vetting potential marketing supply vendors for merchandise the company could hand out at trade shows and conferences.
Rutherford faces up to 20 years in prison, and will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz at a later date.