Man Sentenced to Prison, Ordered to Pay Restitution for $1.3 Million Fraud Against His Business Partners
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A Pittsburgh man has been sentenced in federal court to 71 months imprisonment, ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution and ordered to undergo three years of supervised release on his conviction of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch imposed the sentence on Neale J. Misquitta, 48.
According to information presented to the court, the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud the businesses of which he was a part owner by filing dozens of fraudulent expense reports and vouchers over a nearly three year period from late 2005 through 2008. The expense reports and vouchers included hundreds of claims for reimbursement of business expenses that were in fact personal expenses, most often related to the construction of a new home the defendant was building in Upper St. Clair. One of the defendant's former business partners testified that Misquitta's false claims and misrepresentations had resulted in a loss of more than $1,301,528 to Key Environmental, Inc. and Field and Technical Services, LLC. The Court found that this loss amount was substantiated by an accounting firm that was hired to determine how much Misqutta had stolen from his business partners. The evidence also showed that Misquitta processed reimbursement claims for money allegedly spent by use of his own personal checks when in fact the checks were never negotiated or cashed by the supposed recipients. Among the items that Misquitta falsely vouchered to his businesses were decorative stone for the exterior of his home, fixtures, tubs and shower components for the five bathrooms, a heated driveway, fireplaces, a geothermal heating and cooling system, a $4000 door for his wine cellar, the costs of the roof and nearly $60,000 worth of electrical work on his new home.
The Court specifically found that a document that Misquitta had tried to enter in to evidence, that supposedly showed that his partners were aware of and approved of his billing personal expenses to the businesses, was a fabricated document made up to support a defense that was contradicted by the evidence presented to the jury. The Court also noted that the jury specifically found that Misquitta had intended to defraud his business partners.
Assistant United States Attorney James R. Wilson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Misquitta.