Former Carpenters’ Benefit Plan Administrator Admits Embezzling $140,000
NEWARK, N.J. – The former administrative manager of a carpenters’ union pension fund today admitted embezzling approximately $140,000 and making false statements on a required report to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
George R. Laufenberg, 72, of Wall Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin R. McNulty in Newark federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with embezzling approximately $140,000 in pension benefits (Count One) and making false statements to the DOL (Count Five).
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Laufenberg was the administrative manager of the Northeast Carpenters Pension Fund, which was subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Laufenberg was a fiduciary and participant in the pension fund. He admitted stealing $140,000 that was paid to him under a deferred compensation agreement to which he was not entitled. Laufenberg also admitted that he made false statements in a form required under ERISA that he filed to the Department of Labor on behalf of the pension fund.
The maximum penalty for each count is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the DOL Employee Benefit Security Administration, under the supervision of Thomas Licetti, Regional Director; special agents of the DOL Office of the Inspector General, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and agents of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, under the supervision of Inspector General John Gay, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall R. Randolph of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.