Ex-top official of Geis Cos. pleads guilty to embezzling $1 million

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A former top official for a well-known construction and real-estate company admitted Monday to embezzling $1 million from the business.

Michael Harman, a certified public accountant and the former controller of Geis Cos., pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Harman faces a sentence range from five years and three months in prison to six years and six months. Senior US District Judge Solomon Oliver will sentence Harman on May 22.

He also agreed to pay $1.08 million in restitution to Geis and $227,638 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Harman was in charge of the Streetsboro-based business’ finances when he stole money from 2016 through 2020.

He used Geis credit card and bank accounts to pay for more than $1 million in personal expenses, including more than $90,000 for child support and about $12,000 for moving expenses, according to prosecutors.

Harman also caused a San Francisco-based company to issue a $28,000 check to a bank account Harman controlled. Harman also pleaded guilty to failing to accurately report his income on federal taxes because he did not account for the money he stole.

geis cos has handled some of the most high-profile projects in the area in recent years, including building Cuyahoga County headquarters and the Metropolitan at The 9, both in downtown Cleveland.

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