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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Admits Role In Two Fraud Schemes

TRENTON, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his involvement in two fraud schemes – one involving a $148,000 scheme to defraud a payroll company and another involving the transfer of fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

George Wright, 48, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and transfer of fraudulent documents.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2010 through March 2011, Wright purchased stolen identity information, which he used to create fictitious employees of three different companies. Wright contacted a payroll company, falsely purported to represent these three companies, and created several fraudulent business payroll accounts. Payroll checks totaling over $148,000 were then issued in the names of these fictitious employees and sent to addresses he controlled.   

On at least three occasions in August 2013 and September 2013, Wright acquired fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates and sold them for cash.

The mail fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison which must run consecutive to the sentence imposed on the mail fraud and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The transfer of fraudulent documents charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.  Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly, and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl Agnelli, with the investigation leading to the arrest and charges.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Stacy Biancamano Esq., Chatham, New Jersey 

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
15-294
Updated July 30, 2015