Feds accuse Postal Service contractor of heading $1.2M scam

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A construction contractor who received more than $5 million from the U.S. Postal Service cheated taxpayers by filing phony and inflated bills, according to an indictment filed Thursday.

Michael Rymar, 59, of Rochester Hills embezzled more than $1.2 million during an alleged scheme that lasted from 2015-18 and involved repairs to post offices in Michigan and New York, prosecutors said.

A person exits at the United States Postal Service post office downtown in Detroit on Dec. 22, 2020.

“Today’s indictment underscores our commitment to safeguarding taxpayer funds and to prosecute those individuals who use fraudulent schemes to line their pockets with the people’s money," acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said in a statement.

Rymar's company Horizons Materials & Management performed contract work for the postal service since 2011 and was paid more than $5 million. Starting in 2015, the firm was awarded contracts from postal service engineers after Rymar submitted paperwork that included fraudulent statements about the company's profit, work, employees and amounts paid to subcontractors, according to the government.

For example, from 2017-18, Rymar inflated the amount paid to subcontractors who worked on projects at post offices in Marquette, Iron Mountain and Painted Post, N.Y., prosecutors said. The inflated costs totaled almost $11,000.

Rymar repeated this pattern on other projects during the alleged scheme, prosecutors said.

The one-count indictment charges him with stealing government money, punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. 

His lawyer could not be reached for comment.


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