Thursday, March 23, 2023
Thursday, March 23, 2023

    Former Utz Quality Foods Vendor Pleads Guilty To $1.4 Million False Invoice & Kickback Scheme

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    HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that the owner/operator of a former Utz Quality Foods, Inc. supplier has pleaded guilty to charges that he defrauded Utz out of approximately $1.4 million.

    • Jonathan Haas, age 45, the former owner of Haas Packaging and Design, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to wire fraud
    • Haas and Kevin Myers, age 38, formerly of Abbottstown, PA, and the former Director of Purchasing for Utz, were charged in June of this year with the one count wire fraud Information
    • The Information was filed against Myers and Haas pursuant to plea agreements they executed with the government.  Myers entered his guilty plea to the wire fraud count
    • Between 2007 and 2014 Haas Packaging & Design supplied Utz with shelving and packaging products
    • Between 2007 and 2014 Haas Packaging & Design supplied Utz with shelving and packaging products
    • During the guilty plea proceeding Haas admitted he and Myers defrauded Utz between 2010 and 2014 by Myers’ preparation of bogus purchase orders and Haas’ submission of false invoices against the phony purchase orders for packaging product Utz never received
    • After Myers approved Haas’ false invoices for payment, Haas would kick back a portion of Utz’s payment to Myers
    • Allegedly Haas received approximately $1,474,765 from Utz and from that amount Haas paid Myers approximately $651,000
    • Haas’ plea agreement requires the court to determine the actual loss amount and the amount of restitution to be paid Utz
    • The specific wire fraud charge relates to an alleged interstate wire transmission of a $26,000 Haas check into a Myers Packaging Consulting bank account in January 2014
    • The government is seeking forfeiture of approximately $1.4 million from the defendants as illegal proceeds of the scheme
    • The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine
    • Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court
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