Banking & Finance, Law, and Manufacturing

Man indicted in scheme to defraud furniture maker

February 9, 2017
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A federal grand jury has indicted a man in the area as an alleged co-conspirator in two counts of fraud against a furniture maker.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Birge announced today the jury indicted Coopersville resident Kevin John Grimm for allegedly conspiring with Jerry Akers to defraud Herman Miller in a vendor invoicing scheme.

In the second count, Grimm is 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 Grimm and Akers conspired to defraud Herman Miller in a scheme involving Grimm creating a company, KJ Gas Transportation, to submit fraudulent invoices for payment.

The indictment further alleges Grimm’s company never provided any natural gas ordering or transportation services to Herman Miller, as falsely represented in invoices that Grimm emailed to Herman Miller personnel.

Between June 2010 and July 2015, the indictment alleges the fraud scheme generated $1,772,726 in payments to KJ Gas Transportation.

Akers pled guilty last December 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 admitted to conspiring with Grimm to fraudulently invoice Herman Miller for services never provided by Grimm’s company.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney will sentence Akers in Kalamazoo on May 1.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Grand Rapids office.

The charges in an indictment are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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