Jury finds manager guilty of fraud in military moves

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal jury has found the former manager of an Augusta, Georgia, 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, Florida, was convicted Monday on a mail fraud charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced later.

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.

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.

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