"Consummate Conman" sentenced to prison for defrauding Brillion company

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man dubbed the "consummate conman" has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding a Brillion company.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin says Neil A. Harkness, 47, was sentenced two years for wire fraud.

In spring of 2017, Brillion Police were contacted by a company in the city (referred to as "Company A" by federal prosecutors) that employee Neil Harkness had submitted fraudulent hotel and meal expense reports.

Investigators also learned that Harkness was involved in theft of industrial adhesive Loctite while working for the company's sales representative in Ohio.

Because the investigation spanned two states, the FBI took over. Federal prosecutors charged him with wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and aggravated identity theft. As part of a plea deal, Harkness agreed to plead guilty to a count of wire fraud.

Testimony revealed that the company lost $23,239 from the fake expense reports. Harkness stole $194,000 worth of Loctite. He sold it on the internet.

During sentencing, Chief Judge William Griesbach called Harkness the "consummate conman." He rejected Harkness' request for probation and sentenced him to 24 months in federal prison. Harkness will follow the prison term with three years on extended supervision.

The judge ordered Harkness to pay the company restitution of $219,057.14.