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Utah man charged with secretly receiving $2 million for awarding contracts to manufacturers

Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 04, 2020

HURRICANE, Utah — A Washington County man has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering for receiving millions of dollars in "kickback" money from companies who he awarded contracts to for his employer, according to the U.S. Attorney's Utah office.

Nan Ma, 37, was the vice president of production and sourcing for a company that makes home audio products out of Hurricane, identified by authorities only by initials SVT.

According to a federal indictment unsealed Friday, Ma received a total of $2.1 million from seven Chinese companies in exchange for awarding them contracts to manufacture components for SVT, totaling $12.4 million.

Ma's employer became suspicious when they found out he had purchased a $450,000 home, and when the CEO asked how he was paying for the home, Ma said he received money from his father in China, the indictment says. The charges allege that this was false.

If convicted, Ma could face up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the three wire fraud charges and up to 10 years for each of the six money laundering charges.

He may also be forced to forfeit five properties in St. George and one in Washington, along with a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor and a 2016 Honda Odyssey, if it is determined that they were purchased with with "proceeds traceable to the scheme to defraud," the indictment states.