Former Utz vendor gets prison for kickback scheme
- A former vendor for Utz has been sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement in a kickback scheme.
- Former Utz executive Kevin Myers was sentenced to 51 months in prison.
A former vendor of Utz Quality Food Inc. in Hanover has been sentenced to prison for his role in a kickback scheme.
Jonathan Haas, 45, of Easton, was sentenced to three years in prison for the false invoice plot that defrauded Utz of $1.4 million, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He will have to pay $925,146 in restitution to Utz and $500,000 to Utz's insurance carrier, Chubb insurance, totaling $1,425,146 in restitution. During his sentencing hearing, Haas submitted $100,000 toward his obligation, according to the release.
Former Utz executive Kevin Myers, 38, formerly of Abbottstown, was sentenced in November to 51 months — four years and three months — in prison for his involvement. His sentence starts May 23.
Myers served as the director of purchasing for Utz and used his position to set up a kickback scheme with Haas, the owner of Haas Packaging & Design in Easton.
The background: According to a news release from June, when Haas and Myers were charged, Haas Packaging and Design supplied Utz with shelving and packaging products between January 2010 and August 2014. The men defrauded Utz through Haas' submission of about 83 false invoices, as well as 43 bogus purchase orders prepared by Myers for products Utz never received, the release states.
Haas received approximately $1,474,765 from Utz because of the fake invoices and kicked back about $651,000 of that to Myers, according to the release.
The two also tried to conceal the kickbacks to Myers in the form of payments for consulting services, with some in the form of checks payable to "Myers Packaging Consulting," a fictional business entity, the release states.
According to the release, a wire fraud charge relates to an alleged interstate wire transmission of a $26,000 check to a Myers Packaging Consulting bank account in January 2014.
The case was investigated by the Harrisburg FBI office, and Utz Quality Foods Inc. cooperated with the investigation.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.