BOSTON, MASSACHUSETS – A Florida man was sentenced yesterday in connection with a scheme to defraud his former employer, a Massachusetts-based uniform-supply company, by falsifying invoices.
Richard Ritz, 58, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 21 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Ritz was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,373,156 and forfeiture of $289,250. On June 3, 2021, Ritz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Between approximately 2000 and March 2019, Ritz and others defrauded the uniform-supply company by causing the company to pay fake invoices for products that were not actually delivered, and by diverting other products that they re-sold for their own benefit. Ritz’s co-conspirators also created a fake supply company, to which Ritz caused the uniform-supply company to pay more than $800,000 on fraudulent invoices.
Ritz is the first former employee of the uniform-supply company to be sentenced in connection with the conspiracy. Co-conspirator Keith Smedley pleaded guilty in June 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 12, 2021. Co-conspirator Brian Halpern pleaded guilty in August 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 16, 2021.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Miron Bloom and Ian Stearns of Mendell’s Securities Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
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