HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Hanover County woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to defrauding her employer through an elaborate hotel booking scheme.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 61-year-old Roxanne Sullivan of the Beaverdam area of Hanover was the travel manager for a venue preparation company based in the Midwest. Sullivan was responsible booking accommodations for the company’s employees while they traveled for work.
At the same time, Sullivan was a registered travel agent who earned a commission from arranging bookings. Because hotels have to give away a piece of the revenue from a booking if it is done by a travel agent, “commissionable rates” for hotel rooms are often more expensive than “non-commissionable rates.”
Sullivan defrauded her employer between 2016 and 2022 by booking hotel rooms with “commissionable” rates rather than the “non-commissionable” rates which were available to the company.
Sullivan then collected commission payments from the bookings while concealing the scheme from her employer, deleting mentions of commissions from emails and instructing hotel employees to remove language referencing commissions from contracts.
At one point, Sullivan was confronted by federal agents in regards to her scheme, which is estimated to have cost her employer around $525,000, and lied to them about aspects of the scheme.
Sullivan is scheduled to be sentenced on March 19, 2024. She is facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.