Former finance executive of new jersey company pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and tax fraud
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2011
CAMDEN, N.J. – The former controller of an environmental and industrial services firm based in Swedesboro, N.J., today admitted to defrauding his former employer by improperly diverting funds and taking more than $1.3 million from the company, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Rusty Spickenreuther, 46, of Franklinville, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of tax fraud. He entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Spickenreuther admitted that between June 2009 and June 2011, he embezzled from his former employer, Environmental Industrial Services Corp. of New Jersey, by stealing more than 50 checks payable to the company and diverting the funds to bank accounts he controlled. Spickenreuther deposited the checks – which ranged from $255 to more than $88,000 – into a bank account he set up in the name of “EISCO,” an acronym that is regularly used to refer to the company. Spickenreuther, who had access to the company’s financial books and records in order to perform his duties as the controller, used that access to conceal the theft. Once in possession of the stolen funds, Spickenreuther wire transferred large sums of money among various bank and brokerage accounts, ultimately using much of the stolen money to day trade in stocks from a brokerage account he controlled.
For the 2009 and 2011 tax years, Spickenreuther did not disclose to the IRS the income that he received in connection with the fraudulent scheme. Spickenreuther failed to disclose in excess of $760,000, resulting in a tax loss to the United States of $258,712.
As part of his guilty plea, Spickenreuther has agreed to make full restitution to the victims of his offenses for all losses resulting from his crime. Spickenreuther has agreed to forfeit approximately $289,576.59 to the United States. This money was previously seized by the United States from several bank and brokerage accounts controlled by Spickenreuther.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the pecuniary gain or loss resulting from Spickenreuther’s criminal conduct. The money laundering charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the pecuniary gain or loss resulting from Spickenreuther’s criminal conduct. The tax fraud charges carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI South Jersey Resident Agency in Cherry Hill, N.J., under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos; and IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
Defense counsel: David T. Schlendorf Esq., Toms River, NJ