Former employee pleads guilty to wire fraud after victimizing Children's of Alabama

John David Nichols struck an agreement with prosecutors and plead guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Nichols is accused of defrauding Children's of Alabama of $426,986 by charging it for printer cartridges he sold to another company.

"White collar crime doesn't pay in the Northern District of Alabama," said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. {}"Defrauding a hospital that ministers to children is particularly callous. This defendant deserves to be punished."

According to Nichols' plea agreement, Nichols acknowledges that from August 2010 to October 2011, he used Tech-Optics' computer inventory system to order toner cartridges for Children's. The hospital paid for the cartridges, but Nichols sold them to an Alabama company, Image Craft, which bought new and used toner cartridges.

Nichols continued the scheme after Children's ended its contract with Tech-Optics in October 2011 and contracted for the printer services from Ameri-Tek, according to the plea agreement. Nichols went to work for Ameri-Tek and continued, into March 2012, to order cartridges on behalf of Children's, which he then sold.

Nichols could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count.