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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Friday, January 15, 2016

Former El Dorado Hills Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme That Misappropriated Millions of Dollars

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gregory J. Chmielewski, 46, of West Bend, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty today to two counts of mail fraud for a scheme where he transferred business funds to his own personal use, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to his plea agreement, Chmielewski set up a professional employer organization called Independent Management Resources (IMR). He solicited an Indian tribe to partner with him and provide employee insurance coverage and other employee services at a reduced cost. Chmielewski marketed the insurance coverage to California employers as a low-cost alternative workers’ compensation coverage. Because of the low rates, Chmielewski was successful in obtaining employer clients. Chmielewski then began diverting and misappropriating millions of dollars from IMR accounts for his personal use. Eventually, the company experienced serious cash flow problems and was forced to cease operations, leaving approximately 117 injured workers with approximately $1.8 million in unpaid claims.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the California Department of Insurance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heiko P. Coppola and Andre’ Espinosa are prosecuting the case.

Chmielewski is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Chmielewski faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or up to twice the gain or loss from the offense. The actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
2:11-cr-084 GEB
Updated January 15, 2016