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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Former Freight Company Executive Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Embezzlement Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – A former program manager of an international freight forwarding company was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in a scheme to embezzle over $550,000 from the company, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Morten Nielsen, 37, a Danish national residing in Maine, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today via videoconference.

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

As program manager for the freight forwarding company, Nielsen was responsible for the company’s contract relating to the Egyptian Foreign Military Sales program (EFMP), a program between the government of Egypt and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that facilitated the sale and repair of military equipment from the DoD to Egypt. Nielsen was responsible for ensuring all logistics for the transportation of certain material between the United States and Egypt and for submitting all paperwork and billing invoices on behalf of the company to the Egyptian government. Once approved, those invoices were forwarded to the DoD for payment to the company.

From July 2017 through July 2019, Nielsen submitted fraudulent invoices from a sham company that he controlled to the freight forwarding company for work that the sham company never performed. Nielsen then sent the fraudulent invoices on behalf of his employer to the Egyptian government. The fraudulent invoices were approved by Egypt and, the DoD reimbursed the freight forwarding company. Nielsen caused his employer to pay the sham company he created approximately $559,000 over the course of two years, and then transferred those funds into his personal account.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Nielsen to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $559,000 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick Hegarty; and special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fatime Meka Cano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
22-110
Updated March 23, 2022