Former Vermeer Employee, 3 Others, Charged in $3.6 Million Fraud Case

DES MOINES, Iowa – Federal fraud charges have been filed against a former Vermeer Corporation employee accused of approving $3.6 million in invoices for products the company never received.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 54-year-old Scott Whitehead, and three others, were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday. Whitehead was the maintenance manager at the Pella company and is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Officials say Whitehead is also accused of receiving kickbacks from chemical companies All Industrial Chemical and National Chemical Company.

Thirty-eight-year-old Natalia Sheps, 63-year-old Boris Vaysman, and 57-year-old Ana Gallego also face charges in the case. Sheps and Vaysman are believed to be in control of All Industrial Chemical, which investigators say received more than $3.1 million from Vermeer. They are charged with conspiracy and money laundering offenses.

Gallego is believed to control National Chemical Company, which received more than $500,000 from Vermeer. She is charged with conspiracy and money laundering.

The defendants are expected to appear in U.S. District Court on May 15th in Des Moines.