Couple sentenced for fraud scheme

NORCROSS - A husband and wife were sentenced by a United States District Judge on Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Norcross-based CheckFree Corporation.

Lawrence Dale Roberts, 43, and 36-year-old Christina McFadd Roberts, both of Marietta, pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Oct. 20, 2006.

A spokesperson for CheckFree said Dale Roberts worked for the online bill pay service company.

According to a release issued by Patrick Crosby, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Dale Roberts was a CheckFree employee from May 1999 through Oct. 2002. During the three years of employment, Roberts was responsible for network operations and contract management, contracting with outside staffing agencies to provide technical support to the online bill pay company.

Crosby said beginning in February 2000 Dale Roberts caused CheckFree to contract with Harbor Consulting Group, owned by his wife.

The release states that Roberts concealed their interest in the Harbor company and pocketed a 100 percent mark-up they charged CheckFree for their contractors - profits that amounted to approximately $23,000.

In total the couple received $386,000 in illegal proceeds from their scheme.

Dale Roberts' was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, according to the release. Christian Roberts was sentenced to one year and three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Both were ordered to pay $386,006 in restitution to CheckFree.