Retirement Dashed for Swindled Printer —MichelsonMay 2010
Gehly has been forced to return to work full-time at Vermont Graphics, and has rented out his Florida home. To keep the business afloat, he had to lay off five employees, including Garrow's husband, who also worked for the print shop. Gehly is convinced the husband was aware of the scam, but there was a lack of evidence to prosecute him. A Vermont Graphics employee approached Gehly afterwards, noting that the embezzlement explained how the Garrows could afford so many "toys" on their limited income, which reportedly included five ATVs and a new camper every other year. Gehly was able to put a $50,000 lien on some land—most likely acquired with his money in the first place—that the couple was in the process of selling after the forgery was detected. And, because the Garrows live in New Hampshire, Gehly has also racked up more than $10,000 in legal fees since he had to hire lawyers in Vermont and in New Hampshire.
Operating two Miller sheetfed perfectors, a five-unit Royal Zenith half-web, and a Muller Martini stitcher and perfect binder within a 30,000-square-foot facility, Vermont Graphics has survived past recessions since 1973. Coupled with the fraud, this one has been especially taxing, particularly after the New York-based trade magazines that the shop printed folded due to a lack of advertising. Now, Vermont Graphics is struggling to make ends meet primarily by printing flyers and other local commercial jobs.
As Gehly has unfortunately learned, it's a sad irony that white collar crime pays much better than printing and, based on the penalty of getting caught, also carries less risk.
Mark T. Michelson