Former Campaign Treasurer for U.S. Congressman from New Jersey Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Campaign Funds
WASHINGTON – The former campaign treasurer for Representative Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey pleaded guilty today to embezzling more than $450,000 from the congressman’s election and re-election campaign accounts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey and Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward of the FBI’s Newark, N.J. Field Office.
Andrew J. McCrosson Jr., 59, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden, N.J., to a two-count criminal information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of embezzling and converting funds contributed to a federal candidate.
According to the court document, McCrosson was the campaign treasurer for Congressman LoBiondo from 1995 through Aug. 23, 2010. The election and re-election campaign committees were known as LoBiondo for Congress. As campaign treasurer, McCrosson was responsible for maintaining the campaign committee’s financial records, keeping track of contributions to and expenditures of the campaign committee and filing necessary submissions with the Federal Election Commission (FEC.) McCrosson was paid a fee for his services ranging between $3,000 and $8,000, either per election cycle or per calendar year.
As outlined in the court document, the campaign committee maintained bank accounts into which campaign contributions were deposited and from which expenditures were paid. During the guilty plea hearing, McCrosson acknowledged that he controlled those bank accounts on behalf of the campaign committee and was responsible for reporting all campaign contributions and expenses to the FEC. McCrosson admitted that from 1995 to August 2010, he wrote checks totaling approximately $458,000 from the LoBiondo for Congress bank accounts to himself without authorization and for no legitimate campaign purpose. According to the court document, McCrosson used the embezzled funds for personal purposes such as the repayment of a federal income tax lien, home mortgage payments, college tuition payments for his children and other living expenses.
According to the court document, McCrosson failed to report to the FEC all of the checks he wrote to himself, in an effort to conceal his theft. McCrosson also admitted that he materially misrepresented in these FEC filings the amount of cash on hand held by the campaign committee in its bank accounts to further conceal his embezzlement from Congressman LoBiondo, the campaign committee, the FEC and the public.
Congressman LoBiondo represents the Second Congressional District of New Jersey which includes all of Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties and parts of Gloucester, Atlantic and Burlington counties. McCrosson performed his duties as campaign treasurer for the committee from his home in Marmora, N.J., and later from his home in Egg Harbor Township.
Judge Irenas scheduled sentencing for June 16, 2011. The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and the charge of embezzlement carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. McCrosson could also be fined on each count up to $250,000 or twice the gross profits to him or loss to the victim. Pending sentencing, the defendant was released on a personal recognizance bond of $100,000.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin T. Smith, Acting Attorney in Charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Trenton, N.J. branch office, as well as Trial Attorneys Tracee Plowell and Nancy Simmons of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.