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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 19, 2021

Mean Peach and a Co-Conspirator Sentenced to Federal Prison for Fraud Scheme and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Participated in a Scheme to Defraud a Maryland Company of More Than $2 Million

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Mean Peach, age 65 and Eam Peng Chou, age 56, both of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to two years in federal prison and a year and a day in federal prison, respectively, each followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and for interstate transportation of stolen property, in connection with a scheme to defraud a Maryland company of more than $2 million.  Chief Judge Bredar also ordered Peach and Chou to each pay restitution in the amount of $1,645,494.  The sentences were imposed yesterday.

The sentences were 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 their plea agreements and other court documents, Peach, Chou, and co-defendants Chonnathason Has 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, Peach, Chou, Has, 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.  Peach, Has, 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.  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 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. Chonnathason Has, a/k/a Bora Has, age 54, of Philadelphia and Kevin Miller, age 48, of Bel Air, Maryland, pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and are scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, 2021 and October 22, 2021, respectively.       

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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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated August 19, 2021