COLUMBUS, Ohio – Richard Morin, 48, of Portland, Connecticut pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here today to one count of conspiracy, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, for his role in a scheme that defrauded a Columbus-based company out of between $250,000 and $1,500,000 over the course of a year.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, announced the plea entered before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.
Morin is the final defendant to plead guilty in connection with the fraud. On August 16, 2016, Frank Damico, 52, of Sunbury, Ohio pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson to defrauding Damico’s employer by working for both his employer and a competitor at the same time and using a hunting buddy’s name to hide the fact that he was working for the two competing companies simultaneously.
Damico pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and one count of subornation of perjury, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to a statement of facts presented during Damico’s hearing, Damico was national service manager for Cranel, Inc., a Columbus company that sells and services imaging equipment. In November 2011, Damico agreed to go into business with Morin, who owned Pro Image, a Connecticut company and competitor of Cranel’s. Damico transferred Cranel company documents containing trade secrets and confidential customer data to Pro Image.
Early in 2012, Damico asked Morin set up a Pro Image email account under the name of Josh Fetter, whom court documents describe as a hunting buddy of Damico’s. Fetter agreed after the fact to allow his name to be used, and has admitted to lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury during the investigation of the fraud.
As “Josh Fetter”, Damico emailed and called existing Cranel customers in other states, persuading approximately 12 of them either switching their business to Pro Image or seeking much lower prices from Cranel.
Fetter, 32, of Ashley, Ohio pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King on June 29, 2016 to one count of criminal contempt and is awaiting sentencing.
Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Assistant United States Attorney Deborah A. Solove, who is representing the United States in this case.