Conspirator in Scheme to Defraud a Maryland Company of More Than $2 Million Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay Restitution in the Amount of $2,478,069.16
Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar today sentenced Chonnathason Has, a/k/a Bora Has, age 54, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud a Maryland company of more than $2 million. Chief Judge Bredar also ordered Has to pay restitution in the amount of $2,478,069.16.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner 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, Has and co-defendants Mean Peach, Eam Peng Chou, and Thi Ho, conspired with Kevin Miller, who was employed as the Director of Planning, Logistics, and Control at Company A, located in Linthicum, Maryland, and was engaged in the business of manufacturing personal products, such as hair care, hair dye and lotions. 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.
As detailed in their plea agreements, from about September 2015, through March 2019, Has, Peach, Chou, Ho, and Miller engaged in a scheme to defraud Company A of at least $2.4 million. Specifically, in approximately September 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. Has, Peach, Chou, and other conspirators created and used shell companies in various names, with business addresses that were mail boxes 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. Has, Peach, and Chou, would cash the checks at facilities in Philadelphia and the proceeds would be divided up among the conspirators.
As a result of the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, the defendants caused Company A to issue approximately $2.4 million in checks for goods and services that it never received.
Thi Ho, age 51, of Bear, Delaware, who 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. Mean Peach, age 65 and Eam Peng Chou, age 56, both of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were sentenced to two years in federal prison and a year and a day in federal prison, respectively, for conspiracy and for interstate transportation of stolen property and were each ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,645,494. Kevin Miller, age 48, of Bel Air, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2021.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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