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Did Cabot manager use company cash for side business? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Did Cabot manager use company cash for side business?

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CABOT, Vt. -

We have learned new details about accusations of embezzlement at the Cabot Creamery. In March, we told you the FBI was investigating an employee at the world-famous cheesemaker. Now, Investigative Reporter Jennifer Costa has dug up court documents revealing more about the case.

The scheme involves a longtime manager at Cabot who allegedly used his power and access to company money to prop up his own maple syrup side business. According to court documents, a whistleblower who worked for him was key to unraveling this seven-year swindle.

The federal court document wasn't easy to find. It was listed under an address rather than a name. It is an application for a search warrant for Randy Swartz's home. WCAX News has learned Swartz is the employee Cabot fired in February for allegedly stealing from the company. He's now the subject of an FBI investigation. We found out the feds raided his Orleans home in March. They were looking for evidence of fraud.

Swartz was the maintenance manager at Cabot, in charge of all construction projects, site work and machinery at the creamery. He worked there for more than 20 years.

Court papers reveal that in January one of his employees filed a complaint accusing his boss of ordering machine parts to make reverse osmosis machines for his personal sugaring business. Records show these purchases were made with Cabot's money. Reverse osmosis machines are pricey, selling for $30,000-$60,000 apiece. The machines purify raw maple sap, turning it into concentrated syrup.

A whistleblower told the feds that since 2010, Swartz directed some Cabot employees to build the RO machines for him while they were on the clock. Sometimes the work took place at Cabot; other times, they left to work in Swartz's garage where the machines were installed and maintained. His business is Kingdom Reverse Osmosis.

Informants tell the FBI Swartz has allegedly built eight RO machines on Cabot's dime. Banking receipts show he even sold one of them back to Cabot for almost $20,000.

We obtained records that show police seized related machine parts, tools, memory cards, computers and business financial documents from his home, evidence the FBI will likely use to build its fraud case.

A criminal complaint has not been filed in federal court. That means, right now, Swartz is not facing any criminal charges.

Cabot declined to comment for our story and our calls to Randy Swartz and his lawyer were not returned before this story was published.

This is the second major embezzlement case at Cabot in recent years. Last year, Ronald Rup Jr., 54, was sentenced to jail for stealing more than $1 million from Agri-Mark, Cabot's parent company, while building Cabot's corporate offices in Waitsfield.

Related Stories:

State Police, FBI investigating Cabot Creamery embezzlement case

Former Cabot Creamery executive headed to jail

Former Agrimark employee pleads guilty to wire fraud

Former Agrimark employee to admit stealing $1M

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