Crime - Sacto 911

Granite Bay man sentenced to 33 months; how he scammed federal government for $3.5 million

A Granite Bay man was sentenced to 33 months in prison Monday for scamming the federal government out of $3.5 million by switching out products he sold them for cheaper ones, officials said.

Jim A. Meron, 54, owned WOW Imaging Products LLC and Time Enterprises LLC and sold office supplies to federal agencies through two web-based government sales portals, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

Between May 2011 and July 2017, Meron used the payments from products to buy similar ones from his suppliers that “cost him a fraction of what his customers paid for the brand-name products,” according to court documents.

Meron then delivered the cheaper products to his customers and pocketed the price difference, court documents say. Over time, his scheme grew to include all the orders he received, which numbered more than 1,000, according to the court documents.

“(Meron) never intended to deliver what his customers ordered,” the news release said.

Meron was additionally ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay more than $1.6 million in restitution to dozens of victims, according to documents.

The investigation was conducted by General Services Administration Office of Inspector General and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

These tips will help you be more aware of illegal counterfeit items sold overseas and how they harm the U.S. economy.

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Meghan Bobrowsky, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and school funding. She grew up in nearby Davis.