GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — The owner of three construction companies pleaded guilty Thursday to a scheme to defraud a customer of more than $1.7 million.

Ivan Thrane, 65, of Dickerson, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud a company of more than $1.7 million.

Thrane admitted that between August 2015 and January 2017, he conspired with the project manager at Victim Company 1, to defraud the company by submitting fraudulent payment requests for work purportedly performed by the Thrane companies.

Thrane and his co-conspirator caused the Thrane companies to submit payment requests to Victim Company 1.

The co-conspirator prepared the payment requests, which he e-mailed to Thrane. Thrane then signed the payment requests on behalf of the Thrane companies.

Thrane e-mailed the signed payment requests to the co-conspirator, who, as Victim Company 1’s project manager and project executive, approved the payment requests, causing Victim Company 1 to pay the Thrane companies.

Once payment was received from Victim Company 1, Thrane funneled a portion of those payments to his co-conspirator by writing checks from his personal bank account or from the Thrane companies.

As part of his plea agreement, Thrane is required to forfeit and pay restitution in the full amount of the victim’s losses still outstanding, which is at least $988,805.

Thrane faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy.   U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for January 7, 2020.

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