Rochester Hills man charged with stealing over $1 million from U.S. Postal Service

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 7, 2021

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Michael Rymar, 59, of Rochester Hills, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling government funds from the U.S. Postal Service.

The indictment alleges that over the course of a three-year fraud scheme, Rymar, who owns Horizons Materials & Management LLC, stole over $1.2 million from the Postal Service. His attorney, Anjali Prasad, said the indictment makes no sense and that her client was singled out when postal employees should be brought to justice.

According to the government, Postal Service engineers awarded Rymar’s company with over $5 million in contracts for repairs on Postal Service buildings in Michigan and New York between 2015 and 2018.

The indictment states that the documentation Rymar provided contained “false and fraudulent statements,” oftentimes “dramatically and falsely overstating the amount he paid subcontractors to complete the repairs.” The indictment also alleges that Rymar “falsely inflated the amount he paid his own employees” and the cost of materials on Postal Service jobs.

“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 United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin said in a March 25 statement.

Rymar faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The federal government is also seeking recovery of at least $1.2 million as part of the indictment.

Steven Stuller, of the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General, said the Postal Service spends hundreds of millions of dollars on new construction, maintenance and renovations of U.S. Postal Service facilities.

“Along with the Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement partners, the USPS Office of Inspector General will aggressively investigate those who would engage in this type of harmful conduct,” Stuller said in a statement.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Cares. There was no arraignment date set at press time.

Prasad said the indictment fails to disclose that high-ranking United States post office employees were complicit in the invoicing.

“In fact the engineers quietly referred to in the indictment were government employees who knowingly signed off on the invoices at issue, and in some instances directed private contractors to perform personal work and bill the post office. Yet the government has declined to charge its own employees and instead singled out only private contractors. I thought the purpose of the Public Corruption Unit was to prosecute government officials who breach the public’s trust. This indictment makes no sense,” Prasad said in a prepared statement.