PROVIDENCE — A New Bedford man who worked as the IT Director for a Warwick company has pleaded guilty to wire fraud after embezzling over $1 million.

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Rhode Island says 47-year-old Juan Hicks used his company network access and purchasing authority at metal fabrication and supply firm A.T. Wall Company to buy goods and services for himself and his family and friends.

Hicks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to creating fake invoices and expense reports, changing credit card statements to make purchases look like business expenses, and issuing company phones to himself and six family members.

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He also submitted invoices and used company credit cards to buy goods and services at stores and auto repair centers as well as buying airline and entertainment tickets for himself, family and friends.

Hicks was caught in March 2022, when the company hired forensic analysts to find the source of a cyberattack and check weaknesses in its computer systems.

The former IT director refused to give the analysts his computer or his passwords.

After an internal investigation, the company found that Hicks had embezzled more than $1 million since 2012.

The firm gave the results of the investigation to Warwick police, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hicks is set for sentencing on June 20, 2023.

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