Spring Lake man sentenced for scheme defrauding Herman Miller, Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Spring Lake man was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a vendor-invoicing scheme that defrauded Herman Miller, Inc of over $1 million.

Jerry Akers, 54, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids Tuesday. He will also serve two years of supervised release after his prison sentence and is ordered to pay over $500,000 in restitution and $500,000 in government fines.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge says that Akers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He and his co-conspirator, Kevin Grimm, allegedly ran the scheme between June 2010 and July 2015, using Grimm’s company, KJ Gas Transportation, LLC. ¬†According to the U.S. Attorney, Grimm submitted false and fraudulent invoices for payments for natural gas services which were never provided. Akers assisted from inside Herman Miller. ¬†The scheme generated about $1.7 million for KJ Gas Transportion.

Grimm was indicted by a grand jury in February. He pleaded guilty in March and will be sentenced in July.

The U.S. Attorney says that Akers and Grimm have returned about $1.2 million of the illegal proceeds from the scheme.

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