A New Jersey Superior Court judge sentenced a Berkeley Heights man to six years in prison on Feb. 26 after he was suspected of stealing more than $4 million from the three trucking companies where he was employed for eight years. The 54-year-old man was working from one of the company offices in Elizabeth.
The three trucking companies the man was employed with were New England Motor Freight, Carrier Industries Inc. and Eastern Freightways Inc. Since the trucking companies own thousands of vehicles throughout the U.S., the man was employed to ensure that most of the vehicles were registered.
Authorities say, however, that he was actually resubmitting the registration paperwork for the same vehicles to the trucking companies. Then, when the companies would send him the funds to pay for the registrations, he kept the money to pay for a Jersey Shore rental, a luxury car and his own personal trainer.
After they began suspecting a pattern of theft, law enforcement officials opened a formal investigation into the matter with the full cooperation of New England Motor Freight company officials. Then in March 2014, police took the employee into custody on charges of second-degree theft by deception. The maximum prison sentence for a second-degree crime is 10 years.
In New Jersey, being charged with a white-collar crime such as embezzlement is serious and could result in severe penalties if convicted, including incarceration and steep fines. As a result, people who are facing such charges may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that a strategy for use at or before trial can be developed.
Source: NJ.com, "Berkeley Heights Man Sentenced in $4M Embezzlement Scheme", Tom Haydon, Feb. 27, 2016