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Press Release

Florida Man Admits Using Bogus Transportation Company To Defraud New Jersey Factoring Business Out Of $220,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. - A Seminole, Florida, man today admitted using phony invoices from his transportation company to obtain $220,000 from a New Jersey-based factoring business, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.

Karl Stehlin, a/k/a “Mark Sawyer,” 60, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to Count One of an indictment charging him with wire fraud. 

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

Stehlin admitted that from June 2014 through September 2014, he defrauded a Bergen County, New Jersey, factoring business that purchased accounts receivable in return for short term financing. Stehlin created a bogus Idaho-based company, Sawyer Express Transportation Inc., and emailed accounts receivable invoices to the factoring company for transportation services that were never provided. As a result, Stehlin was able to defraud the factoring company out of $220,000 in advance payment on those invoices. 

During his plea hearing, Stehlin also admitted using the same methods to defraud a Glendale, California, factoring business out of $127, 953.34 and a Las Vegas factoring business out of $524,025.28.

The wire fraud charge to which Stehlin pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2016. 

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s plea. He also thanked special agents of the FBI Tampa Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal, for their assistance. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lakshmi Srinivasan Herman and Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Acting Chief Barbara Ward of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Michael Koribanics Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

Updated January 28, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-031