DETROIT -- An employee of Magneti Marelli North America Inc. was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Tuesday for embezzling nearly $1 million from the supplier.
Mateus Ribiero Da Costa, a Brazilian with legal residence in the United States, submitted false invoices and expense reports and forged letters to his employer from April 2007 through June 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
Da Costa reported the false claims using a fake vendor that appeared to be related to work Magneti Marelli had with General Motors of Mexico, the FBI said.
Da Costa told his employer he was paying the vendor on his corporate credit card and filed false expense reports to recoup the fictitious payments, according to the statement.
Magneti Marelli reimbursed to Da Costa $985,359, which he transferred to an account in Brazil, the FBI said. He spent the money on lavish vacations, expensive meals and property in Brazil, the FBI said.
A spokesperson for Magneti Marelli in Detroit could not be reached for comment today. It was not clear from the FBI statement if Costa is still an employee of Magneti Marelli.
Da Costa has been ordered to pay restitution. The case was tried in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Magneti Marelli is a unit of Fiat S.p.A., which holds management control and a 30 percent ownership stake in Chrysler Group LLC. Last week Chrysler's Mopar parts brand announced a partnership with Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants to supply maintenance parts and lubricants for non-Chrysler Group vehicles to the automaker's 2,311 dealers in the United States.