President of Pittsburgh-area Financial Services Firm Pleads Guilty in $2.8M Fraud Scheme
PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh businessman pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Ronald A. Moog, 78, of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the government’s evidence would establish that the defendant was the President of Moog Transfinancial Services, a Pittsburgh based corporation in the business of auditing freight bills for other companies who had a large volume of freight business. According to Moog’s contractual relationship with the victim companies, Moog would inform the victims of the payment necessary to pay off their freight charges. The victims would then send Moog money, which Moog would place into a trust account. For nearly 13 years, the defendant syphoned money out of the trust account for purposes other than paying the victims’ freight bills, leading to a shortfall within the account of over $2.8 million. This amount was passed onto the victim companies in the form of delinquent freight invoices which they had already sent money to Moog to pay for and which they believed had been already paid.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2014 at 9 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Moog on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Moog.