Former Utz vendor sentenced in $1.4 million false invoice and kickback scheme

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jonathan Haas, age 45, of Easton, Pa., the owner/operator of a former Utz Quality Foods, Inc. supplier, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Yvette Kane to 36 month’s imprisonment for his participation in a false invoice, kickback scheme that defrauded Utz Quality Foods, Inc. out of approximately $1.4 million.

Judge Kane ordered Haas to pay $925,146 restitution to Utz and $500,000 restitution to Utz’s insurance carrier, Chubb Insurance, for a total of $1,425,146 in restitution. During the sentencing hearing, Haas submitted a check in the amount of $100,000 towards his restitution obligations.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Haas, the former owner of Haas Packaging and Design, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Kevin Myers, age 38, formerly of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, and the former Director of Purchasing for Utz, pleaded guilty in July 2016, to an information charging them with wire fraud.

Haas Packaging & Design supplied Utz with shelving and packaging products. The defendants defrauded Utz between January 2010 and August 2014, by Myers’ preparation of approximately 43 bogus purchase orders and Haas’ submission of approximately 83 false invoices for products Utz never received. After Myers approved Haas’ false invoices for payment, Haas would kick back a portion of the proceeds to Myers. According to a forensic audit commission by Utz, Haas received approximately $1,425,765 from Utz and from that amount Haas paid Myers approximately $523,500.

Haas and Myers attempted to conceal some of the kickbacks Haas paid Myers as payments for fictional consulting services. The payments were made in the form of checks payable to “Myers Packaging Consulting,” a non-existent, paper company created by Myers.

Judge Kane sentenced Myers to 51 months’ imprisonment in November 2016. Judge Kane ordered Haas to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence on May 23, 2017.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Utz Quality Foods, Inc. cooperated with the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel prosecuted the case.

Source: Department of Justice

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