Owners of Roth Manufacturing sentenced 2013.01.02

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Owners of Morenci’s Roth Fabricating, Inc., are looking toward a future of growth and increased employment as they move away from an incident that occurred more than four years ago.

A lengthy legal case was resolved in federal court Dec. 19, bringing to an end an investigation into certain parts produced for the military during the 2007-08 time period.

The outcome of the case resulted in custodial sentences for the two owners of the business—Shane Sarnac and Simone Haas—plus a financial restitution.

Roth’s first foray into military supply started in 2007 with the fabrication of M-16 rifle racks for placement on Humvees. By the start of 2008, the company produced nearly 200 items for the military, including engine stands, missile transport frames, interior tank parts and tank tool trays.

Roth was honored by the Procurement Technical Assistance Center as the Lenawee County Government Contractor of the Year for 2007 and was among three companies considered for the state honor.

At the same time, Roth maintained contracts with several commercial firms, including many within the county.

Defense Department engineers discovered that some of Roth’s parts failed to meet required specifications.

“Government contracts require strict adherence to specifications,” said attorney George Donnini of the Butzel Long law firm that represents Roth. “In the end, certain of their final products did not comply.”

The company owners did not go into the manufacture of military supplies with any bad intentions, Donnini added. He characterized Roth’s predicament as “getting in over their heads” in the effort to fill military orders.

In federal court in Columbus, Ohio,   Dec. 19, Sarnac apologized for mistakes made and said he and his company are working hard to make amends.

Sarnac pled guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud—a charge made by the military because payments for goods were sent by wire to Roth.

He received a custodial sentence of 15 months in a federal prison camp. His sister and co-owner, Simone Haas, pled guilty to the same charge and was sentenced in May. She is currently serving her 15-month sentence in a federal camp. 

The judge ordered the restitution of $825,000 and the defendants have paid about half of that amount. The remainder is to be paid in equal installments over a five-year period. The company was also fined $25,000.

Due to a plea agreement, the judge is allowing Sarnac’s sentence to begin after Haas’s ends in order for one of them to be able to lead the company.

“Our goal was to ensure the future viability of the company and the government shared in that goal,” Donnini said.

Donnini stated that Roth has made great strides in recovering from the incident.

“The company has come a long way since then,” he said. “Their commercial business has steadily increased and they’re picking up new customers which is allowing them to add more employees. The goal is to keep the company moving forward and keep people in the local community employed.”

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016