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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Of Co-Conspirator In Scheme To Defraud Herman Miller Inc

Kevin Grimm of Coopersville Charged with Conspiracy and Money Laundering

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that a federal grand jury handed down a two-count indictment against Coopersville, Michigan, resident Kevin John Grimm alleging that he conspired with Jerry Akers to defraud furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. in a vendor invoicing scheme. Grimm also was charged with laundering proceeds of the fraud by making a $155,000 payment to a Florida yacht dealer toward the purchase of a 49-foot sailboat in 2015.

          The indictment alleges that Grimm and Akers conspired with each other to devise and execute a scheme to defraud Herman Miller involving Grimm’s creation of a company, KJ Gas  Transportation, LLC, to submit false and fraudulent invoices for payment. The indictment further alleges that Grimm’s company never provided any natural gas ordering or transportation services to Herman Miller as falsely represented in invoices that Grimm e-mailed to Herman Miller personnel. The indictment alleges that, between June 2010 and July 2015, the fraud scheme generated approximately $1,772,726 in payments to Grimm’s company, KJ Gas Transportation, LLC.

          Akers pled guilty in December 2016 to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud against Herman Miller for his role in the scheme. When Akers was charged, his  alleged co-conspirator was known to the U.S. Attorney’s office but not identified in publicly-filed court documents. Akers has admitted to conspiring with Grimm to fraudulently invoice Herman Miller for natural gas transportation services never provided by Grimm’s company. United States District Judge Paul L. Maloney will sentence Akers on May 1, 2017, in Kalamazoo.

          This matter is being investigated by the Grand Rapids office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

          The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated February 9, 2017