Huntingdon printing company probed for forged doe tags, parking permits

A Huntingdon printing business and its owners are under investigation for the forgery of doe tags and Penn State parking stickers, as well as other potential acts of criminal conspiracy, according to a search warrant executed in December and unsealed this week.
The Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant at Kunz Business Products Dec. 17, 2002, at 1600 Penn St., and seized computers and printing plates which are believed to have been used to print forged doe tags and Penn State parking permits. The Hollidaysburg home of the company’s owner, R. Thomas Henderson, was also listed on the warrant as a place to be searched.
No charges have been filed. Trooper Dan Sneath, lead investigator, and District Attorney Robert Stewart have made no comment on the case other than to say it remains under investigation.
According to the search warrant, police were seeking computers containing scanned images of forged Game Commission antlerless deer licenses, examples of actual forged licenses, computers containing forged Penn State University parking permits, examples of the forged permits, the negatives and plates necessary for the printing of the forged items and others.
According to the receipt and inventory form of the search warrant, the total number of items seized at the business in Huntingdon was 124. Some of the items taken from the building were Mac computer systems, negatives, a large envelope containing a sheet of doe tags, a folder containing Penn State parking pass negatives, sheets of parking permits and compact discs used to store information.
Police also listed the Shirley Township residences of Reed T. Henderson, Tom Henderson’s son, and Joseph L. Hicks, a Frankstown butcher shop in Blair County, owned by Thomas Gearhart of Hollidaysburg, and the Times Tribune Company in Altoona, as places where searches could be conducted.
Computers in the graphics department at Kunz Business Products were seized, as well as backup documents stored on compact discs. The pre-press room was searched for items believed to be partly or completely finished products of forged licenses or for items used to make the licenses, such as negatives or plates.
At Gearhart’s butcher shop, records of the names of persons who brought deer into the shop to be processed and the deer with the ear tag signed with the name Randy Henderson were searched and seized, according to the search warrant.
According to information filed in the statement of probable cause, Trooper Sneath of the state police at Huntingdon noted he become aware of an investigation being conducted by Game Commission officers Nov. 27, 2002. A cooperating individual informed Game Commission officers that antlerless deer licenses were allegedly being forged at Kunz Business Products in Huntingdon and at the Times Tribune location in Altoona. The owner of the business, R. Thomas Henderson, was allegedly requesting the forgeries to be made.
Sneath noted in his statement that four actual licenses had reportedly been obtained from the Huntingdon County Treasurer’s Office and copies of the forged licenses bore the numbers of the original licenses according to the search warrant. Copies of the four licenses are attached to the search warrant.
The cooperating individual provided information that numerous copies of the licenses had been printed, according to the statement of probable cause.
According to information researched by Officer John Roller of the Game Commission, also written in the statement of probable cause, the original licenses had been issued to R. Thomas Henderson, Reed T. Henderson, Joseph L. Hicks and Levi J. Hicks, also of Shirley Township.
According to the statement, two employees at Kunz Business Products were questioned by Sneath and they verified information given to Game Commission officers that Reed Henderson, general manager, had directed the four licenses to be scanned into the computer so they could be printed. The first employee told Trooper Sneath that Reed Henderson’s directions were followed to do whatever it took to make it so the license could be printed out to look like the originals. Negatives and printing plates were made for each license so they could be printed.
According to the statement, the plates were taken to Altoona for actual printing. A second employee told police the Penn State parking permits had been forged in the past.
The second employee told Sneath, according to the statement, that R. Thomas Henderson requested scans be made of two Blair County antlerless deer licenses and the employee followed his directions. Plates of the licenses were also allegedly taken to Altoona for printing. The same employee was reportedly asked by Reed Henderson to scan the parking permit for the purpose of a negative and plate to be made. Reed Henderson said, according to the statement made by the employee, that the pass was for someone related to him by marriage, an employee of Penn State, who needed the permits and did not want to pay for them.
The employees told Sneath they feared for their jobs if they refused to do the jobs they were asked to do. They and the cooperating informant told police where they thought the evidence of license and permit examples could be found at the 1600 Penn St. location.
It is also alleged in the statement of probable cause that some purchase invoices were also forged to fraudently raise prices paid for materials and improperly lessen the amount of tax the business would have to pay. This practice of tax fraud allegedly occurred in 1999.
A Game Commission deputy, Norbert Gibney Jr., visited the butcher shop in Blair County Dec. 15, to conduct a routine inspection of the operation, according to the statement. He saw a doe deer with a Huntingdon County antlerless ear tag attached to it. It bore the number of the tag R. Thomas Henderson was issued in Huntingdon, but the tag was filled out with the name of his son, Randy Henderson of East Freedom.
The search warrant was sealed for 60 days until the time for discovery of information in the Court of Common Pleas.
A second search warrant for the Kunz business Products, this one believed issued to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, remains sealed at the Huntingdon County Court House.
The search warrant was served Jan. 31, by the FBI and IRS agents at which time employees were reportedly interviewed.
For the past year, the company has been an authorized printer of passports, and in order to do so, the company was required to have a security system which included fencing and barbed wire, as well as locked doors with security keys. Signs outside the buidling at 1600 Penn St. warns against trespassing.
R. Thomas Henderson purchased the J.B. Kunz Co. at the end of 1995, from John Kunz and changed the name to Kunz Business Products. The sign in the front of the plant reads: Henderson Companies, Kunz Business Products, Times Tribune and Red Bird Container.