The owner of the chain of HipDingo clothing boutiques in San Antonio and the Hill Country has been indicted on charges that she participated in a scheme to steal $1.6 million from two promotional and land development companies where she formerly worked, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Lea Ann Blystone, 46, of Boerne is charged in a multi count indictment with eight counts of wire fraud, twelve counts of forged endorsements, and two counts of witness tampering.
Federal prosecutors say when Blystone was the marketing director for Rinco of Texas and Rockin' J. Ranch, she would make up contractors and outside suppliers, and cut checks on the company's accounts to pay her and several co defendants for work which was never done.
Sometimes, according to the indictment, Rinco and Rockin' J. paid for services when no promotion had been done at all at a stated location, or when the promotion had been done not for the benefit of the companies paying the tab, but for HipDingo.
Also indicted were Manson Porter, 47, identified as an investor in the HipDingo chain, and Michael Webb, 49, identified as Blystone's ex husband.
The feds say the scheme continued from January 2009 through August of 2001, during which more than $1.6 million in phony invoices had been paid.
Blystone also allegedly demanded kickbacks from her co-conspirators, requiring them to give some of the money they had acquired through the scheme to her. The feds say the money sometimes went to pay for inventory and payroll at HipDingo.
Blystone and Porter are also charged with witness tampering, for allegedly urging a witness to provide false information to FBI investigators.