A federal jury has found the former manager of an Augusta, Ga., company that moves military members guilty of defrauding the government by increasing the weight of their belongings so the company could get paid more.
Prosecutors said 45-year-old Ronald Niemi Jr. of Wesley Chapel, Fla., was convicted Monday on a mail fraud charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced later.
The fraud first was discovered at an Augusta truck shipping depot that receives and ships belongings of soldiers at the Army’s Fort Jackson in Columbia, according filings in the case, The State newspaper reported in February 2014.
Authorities say Niemi would either write in heavier weights for crates of belongings or underreport the weight of the crate so the U.S. government would pay Covan World Wide Moving Inc. more money.
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Prosecutors say Niemi falsified paperwork with extra weight at least 40 times from 2009 to 2011.
His indictment asks Niemi to pay back about $158,000 to the government.
Associated Press, staff reports