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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ronald Rup, Jr. Pleads Guilty To Equipment Theft From Agri-Mark

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Ronald Rup Jr., 53, of Fairfax, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge of wire fraud. Chief District Judge Christina Reiss released Rup on conditions pending sentencing, which is set for May 10, 2016.

Last month, the United States Attorney filed a criminal information charging Rup with wire fraud, and Rup pleaded guilty to that charge today. According to the information, Rup was employed by Agri-Mark as its manager of IT infrastructure. Several years ago, when Agri-Mark was constructing a new headquarters in Waitsfield, Rup was the employee responsible for purchasing the IT network equipment for the facility. As part of his criminal scheme, Rup caused Agri-Mark to purchase more than 100 pieces of switching equipment than were needed to serve the new building. The switches were expensive – many costing $8500 or more. Between about April 2012 and March 2012, Rup stole the extra switches from Agri-Mark's inventory and sold them over the Internet to a Texas company which specializes in buying and selling new and used IT networking equipment. Rup sold the switches for about one-third of their cost to Agri-Mark. The Texas company paid for the switches by depositing funds into Rup's PayPal account. Altogether, Rup realized more than $475,000 from the sales. He used the money, to buy vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and jewelry, and to pay for improvements to his home, among other things.

Rup faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to twice Agri-Mark's loss. His actual sentence will be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Rup is represented by Brooks McArthur. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Updated November 5, 2015