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Former Utz Quality Foods Employee Guilty of $1.4 Million False Invoice Kickback Scheme

Kevin Myers, age 38, a former resident of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on Tuesday, November 29, to 51 months in federal prison for his participation in a false invoice, kickback scheme that defrauded Utz Quality Foods, Inc. (Utz) out of approximately $1.4 million.

Judge Kane ordered Myers to pay Utz $1.4 million in restitution and to forfeit the same amount to the government.  Judge Kane also ordered Myers to report to the Bureau of Prisons on January 16, 2017.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Myers, the former Director of Purchasing for Utz and Jonathan Haas, age 46, of Easton, Pennsylvania, the owner of Haas Packaging and Design, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in July 2016 to an information charging them with wire fraud.  Haas is scheduled to be sentenced on the charges by Judge Kane on January 12, 2017.

Haas Packaging & Design supplied Utz with shelving and packaging products.  The defendants defrauded Utz between January 2010 and August 2014 by Myers’s preparation of approximately 43 bogus purchase orders and Haas’ submission of approximately 83 false invoices for products Utz never received.  After Myers approved Haas’s false invoices for payment, Haas would kickback a portion of the proceeds to Myers. According to a forensic audit commissioned by Utz, Haas received approximately $1,474,765 from Utz and from that amount Haas paid Myers approximately $651,000.

Myers and Haas attempted to conceal some of the kickbacks to 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.

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.