The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Gregory Harriman, 52, formerly of Bennington, Vermont, pleaded guilty today to two counts of mail fraud before District Judge William K. Sessions III, in federal court in Burlington one day after the jury was selected for his upcoming federal trial. The mail fraud scheme Harriman acknowledged involved the embezzlement of funds by Harriman while he served as plant manager of NSK Steering Systems America, one of the largest employers in Bennington.
Harriman admitted that from 2007 through 2011, he ran a scheme to obtain money from NSK by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, whereby he caused NSK to pay invoices that were false and he had some of the money paid on those invoices redirected to benefit himself. As part of the scheme, Harriman set up Frontier Automation with James Waters and directed NSK work to Frontier Automation starting in 2007 and continuing through 2011. Harriman concealed from NSK his control of, and interest in, Frontier Automation. He assisted Waters in preparing false quotes and invoices sent from Frontier Automation to NSK. At NSK, Harriman approved or directed others at NSK to approve these false invoices for payment, despite knowing that Frontier Automation had not performed the work listed on the invoices. During the course of the scheme, NSK paid Frontier Automation hundreds of thousands of dollars on false invoices. In addition, Harriman convinced the owner of Red C Parts to provide NSK an invoice for work Red C Parts did not perform. Harriman controlled the purchase on behalf of NSK, approving the purchase and the invoice for payment. Harriman also had substantial portions of the funds paid by NSK for this invoice redirected to benefit himself. Harriman left NSK in 2011.
Under the plea agreement filed in connection with the guilty plea, Harriman faces a sentence of no less than 24 months in jail and no more than 30 months. Harriman also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $386,850 to NSK. The Court scheduled the sentencing for November 7, 2016. Waters has previously pleaded guilty to participating in the mail fraud scheme.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. AUSAs Paul Van de Graaf and Kunal Pasricha prosecuted the case. Harriman is represented by Thomas Sherrer of Burlington.