Fresno, California - Scott Allen Pieracci, 54, of Modesto, was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on federal wire fraud charges for a scheme to defraud his employer, a Modesto car dealership, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

On June 25, 2015, a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against Pieracci, who self-surrendered to federal authorities this morning. In court, Pieracci pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on his own recognizance.

According to the indictment, Pieracci is a former parts manager at an automobile dealership in Modesto, whose duties included purchasing parts, matching purchase orders with delivered items, approving invoices for payment, scheduling deliveries, supervising department employees and delivery drivers, and overseeing the dealership’s inventory management and control system.

According to the indictment, from 2002 through 2011, Pieracci engaged in a scheme to defraud the dealership by placing a series of orders for parts to suppliers located out of state. Pieracci caused the dealership to pay for the parts upon delivery, but thereafter deleted the parts from the dealership’s electronic inventory in an attempt to conceal the dealership’s purchase of them. The indictment further alleges that Pieracci retained some of the parts for himself and sold many of the parts for his personal gain despite not being entitled to them.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Stockton Office. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Pieracci faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.