A former Deere & Co. employee admitted Thursday he defrauded the company out of at least $250,000 over a nine-year period.
Harvey Ulfers, 63, of Cedar Falls, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Rock Island, to three counts of wire fraud, three counts of concealment money laundering, and one count each of money laundering in criminally deprived property and money laundering conspiracy.
He faces up to 150 years in prison when he is sentenced March 23, U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow said during a short change of plea hearing.
However, he more likely could receive a sentence of between 21 to 27 months in prison based on federal sentencing guidelines, according to an estimate provided to Darrow by Ulfers’ defense attorney, Donovan Robertson.
Co-defendant Patrick W. Williams, 46, also of Cedar Falls, pleaded guilty to a single charge of money laundering conspiracy in April. He will be sentenced Dec. 1.
Prosecutors say Williams and Ulfers defrauded Deere, headquartered in Moline, of at least $250,000 between 2007 and January 2013.
An internal fraud tends to happen over time, and in small increments, just as it did in this case.
There are usually indicators buried in a company’s accounting data that can reveal inconsistencies long before catastrophic damage is done.
DFND Analytics proprietary software runs more than 30 forensic checks against an organization’s accounting data to search for anomalies and suspicious transactions. Reports can be run as often as six times a year, and a DFND professional reviews every report before it goes to the customer.
DFND wants businesses to have a better understanding of their organization’s risks and opportunities. DFND is built to spot inconsistencies in product prices as well as falsified invoices.
If Deere & Co. had used DFND, their loss would probably have been caught sooner than 9 years and the loss almost certainly would have been less than $250,000.
Learn how DFND’s system of deterrence can provide your organization with greater internal control over its financial reporting.