Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Kevin Miller, age 48, of Bel Air, Maryland, to 28 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for conspiracy and for wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud a Maryland company of more than $2 million. Chief Judge Bredar also ordered Miller to pay restitution in the amount of $2,799,729.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement and other court documents, Miller was employed as the Director of Planning, Logistics, and Control at Company A, located in Linthicum, Maryland. Miller conspired with Mean Peach, Eam Peng Chou, Chonnathason Has, Thi Van Ho, and separately with David Dempsey, in schemes to defraud Company A, which was engaged in the business of manufacturing personal products, such as hair care, hair dye and lotions, of at least $2.4 million.
As detailed in his plea agreement, Miller was responsible for determining the timing and volume requirements for materials used in the manufacturing operations at Company A, and had the authority to approve payments of invoices submitted by vendors and service providers without obtaining approval from anyone else at Company A.
In the first scheme, which took place between 2013 and 2015, Miller and Dempsey agreed to a kickback scheme in which Dempsey submitted fraudulent invoices from Company B, a company that he owned, to Company A for items that his company never actually provided. Miller then approved the payment of those invoices. Once Dempsey received payment from Company A, he wrote a check to Miller, drawn on the Company B account, for a portion of the amount of the false invoices. In all, Dempsey paid kickbacks to Miller totaling $321,660.
The second fraud scheme took place between approximately September 2015, and December 2018. In 2015, Company A assigned Miller the task of arranging for vendors to dispose of various waste products that were stored at the Company’s two warehouse locations in Maryland. Miller, Ho, Peach, Has, and Chou, agreed to created and use shell companies in various names, with business addresses that were mailboxes at commercial mail facilities, to submit fraudulent invoices to Company A for waste disposal and other work that was never performed by those entities. Miller approved the fraudulent invoices and submitted them to Company A’s accounting department for payment. Company A then issued checks which the conspirators would transmit and cause to be transmitted from Maryland to Pennsylvania. Peach, Chou, and Has would cash the checks at facilities in Philadelphia and the proceeds would be divided up among the conspirators.
As a result of the conspiracies and schemes to defraud, Miller and his co-conspirators caused Company A to issue approximately $2.4 million in checks for goods and services that it never received.
David Dempsey, age 55, of Bel Air, Maryland, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Chonnathason Has, a/k/a Bora Has, age 54, Mean Peach, age 65, and Eam Peng Chou, age 56, all of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were sentenced to three years in federal prison, two years in federal prison, and a year and a day in federal prison, respectively, for conspiracy, wire fraud, and for interstate transportation of stolen property. Has was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,478,069.16. Peach and Chou were each also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,645,494. Thi Ho, age 51, of Bear, Delaware, who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $2,478,069.16.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to report fraud, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/report-fraud.
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