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Bank Employee Charged with Stealing Money January 31, 2010

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Mary M. Knecht has been charged with theft, embezzlement, and misapplication by a bank employee. The Government alleges that Knecht embezzled approximately $750,000 from First Keystone National Bank of Berwick, Pennsylvania, where she worked as an accounting administrator.

Knecht allegedly began stealing from First Keystone in or around January 1992 through December 2009. The indictment alleges that Knecht fraudulently diverted and transferred funds from the bank’s internal general ledger accounts to personal First Keystone accounts that she controlled, using fraudulent bank cashier’s checks, deposit slips, debit and credit memoranda, and other documents to carry out and cover-up the thefts.

Former manager of Brock Farms Nurseries indicted for embezzlement November 23, 2009

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Lynn Lormel, a former manager for Brock Farm Nurseries, is charged with second degree theft by deception in the one-count indictment handed up by a Monmouth County grand jury.  An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office found 145 separate instances of internal cash thefts from Brock Farms between April 2006 and July 2008 which totaled approximately $104,950.

She came under suspicion after a lawyer for Brock Farms notified the prosecutor’s office of the internal thefts.  She was hired by Brock Farms in 2002 and she worked her way up to a position as the manager of the wholesale division. She was fired in July 2008 and arrested in February. 

$67,493 in cash deposits were made to Lormel’s bank account during the same time span of the thefts which is rather interesting.  I’m really not sure why she was indicted unless this case is going to trial.  I have a great relationship with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.  Most of them are really nice and have always worked with me to work out cases early.  If she hired a good attorney in July of 2008, she may have been able to work all of this out.  I know because I do it so often.

Story is here.

Former municipal construction code official arrested for embezzlement November 7, 2009

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Lisa Hare, the former assistant construction code official in Hamilton Township, NJ has been charged with second degree official misconduct.  She is alleged to have taken money on several occasions between April 2004 and February 2007.   The money was intended for building permits that should have been deposited in township’s bank accounts.

She left the job in 2007 and the financial irregularities were reported to 
police earlier this year. She turned herself in to authorities on Friday.

The timing of this is interesting.  I would like to know more about why she left.  I would want to examine all of her bank records from 2004 to 2007.  Other issues to look into:  any witnesses, were these checks or cash, what kind of records are there and can I get them now instead of later, any employment issues or disputes? 

When it comes to white collar crime, it is either open and shut or its a lot of fun.  Luckily for her, the old official misconduct charge should apply which will cut down on the prison time she would face.  This is because the crime allegedly occurred before the statute was changed.  Hopefully she gets a good attorney.

If you are charged with official misconduct, call me today to discuss your case.

General manager of Backhoe Services Inc. in Bayonne enters guilty plea September 29, 2009

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Anthony R. Ambrosio, the former general manager of Backhoe Services Inc. in Bayonne pleaded guilty today to five charges including embezzlement of an employee benefit program, tax evasion and conspiracy. Free on $1 million bond, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

Ambrosio that from 2004 to 2007, he cashed corporate checks to pay cash to illegal immigrant workers, skirted union wage rules, withheld payroll taxes and filed fraudulent tax returns. He also admitted that he paid about $20,000 in cash to leaders of union Local 825 to obtain snow plowing contracts at construction sites.

Story is here.

Georgia attorney faces 77 count indictment August 10, 2009

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This is pretty sad.  As an attorney, Eichholz should have known that he should have another attorney talk for him.  Instead, he allegedly tried to cover everything up which, as always, only makes everything worse.  Lesson for today, if the Department of Labor comes knocking, call an attorney right away; even if you are an attorney yourself!

SAVANNAH, GA—Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced today the return of a seventy-seven count indictment by the federal grand jury against Savannah attorney Benjamin Sheftall Eichholz, age 58, charging an alleged scheme to embezzle more than $950,000 from employee pension benefit plans established to provide retirement benefits to present and former employees of the Eichholz Law Firm. The charges against Eichholz include Embezzlement from Employee Pension Benefit Plans in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 664; Money Laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957; Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; False Statements in Documents Required to be Filed by ERISA in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1027; Obstruction of Justice in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1505; and False Statements in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

The indictment alleges that beginning in or before 2001 and continuing to in or about October 2008, through a variety of different means, Eichholz embezzled more than $950,000 from two employee pension benefit plans at the Eichholz Law Firm, and then repeatedly executed, mailed and filed false documents with the United States Department of Labor in order to both execute and conceal his embezzlement. The indictment further alleges that during an investigation by the United States Department of Labor of Eichholz and the two employee pension benefit plans at the Eichholz Law Firm, Eichholz made numerous false statements to an investigator with the Department of Labor, and committed other acts to obstruct justice, in a further effort to cover up his embezzlement from the employee pension benefit plans.

Booth noted that, if convicted of the charges, Eichholz faces the following maximum statutory penalties:

Counts One Through Thirty – Embezzlement from Employee Pension Benefit Plans
Imprisonment for not more than five (5) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. § 3571), or both;
Not more than three (3) years supervised release (18 U.S.C. § 3583);

Counts Thirty-One Through Thirty-Four – Money Laundering
Imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. § 3571), or both;
Not more than 3 years supervised release (18 U.S.C. § 3583);

Counts Thirty-Five Through Forty-Four -Mail Fraud
Imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. §3571);
Not more than three (3) years Supervised Release (18 U.S.C. 3583);

Counts Forty-Five Through Fifty-Four False Statements in Documents Required to be Filed by ERISA
Imprisonment for not more than five (5) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. §3571);
Not more than three (3) years Supervised Release (18 U.S.C. 3583);

Count Fifty-Five – Obstruction of Proceedings Before Departments, Agencies, and Committees
Imprisonment for not more than five (5) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. §3571);
Not more than three (3) years Supervised Release (18 U.S.C. 3583);

Counts Fifty-Six Through Seventy-Seven – False Statements
Imprisonment for not more than five (5) years;
Fine of up to $250,000 (18 U.S.C. §3571);
Not more than three (3) years Supervised Release (18 U.S.C. 3583);