New York Attorney Indicted For Defrauding Two International Companies Out Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars
NEWARK, N.J. – A New York attorney was indicted today for his role in an alleged scheme to defraud two international companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by fraudulently billing them for services that were never provided, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Marijan Cvjeticanin, 50, of St. James, N.Y., was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Newark on six counts of mail fraud. The government is seeking the forfeiture of all funds fraudulently obtained by Cvjeticanin as a result of the scheme. Cvjeticanin was previously arrested and charged in May 2013 by complaint with one count of mail fraud.
According to the indictment and other documents filed in this case:
From approximately September 1996 to September 2012, Cvjeticanin was employed by a New York law firm specializing in immigration law, first as a paralegal and then as an attorney. Among other clients, the firm represented two international companies – with offices in New Jersey – in connection with various immigration law matters. Cvjeticanin was the case manager handling day-to-day tasks such as filing applications for permanent residency for certain foreign workers of those companies employed in the United States on a temporary basis.
The application process required the companies to place job ads, in the geographic location where the relevant position was located, to demonstrate that there were no minimally qualified U.S. citizens available to fill that position. To do that, Cvjeticanin caused the firm to retain a supposed advertising agency, Flowerson Holdings Inc., a/k/a Flowerson Advertising, which allegedly handled all of the advertisement obligations of the companies in connection with permanent residency applications. Neither the firm nor the companies knew that Cvjeticanin owned and controlled Flowerson.
From 2010 through September 2012, the companies paid Flowerson approximately $579,000 for advertisements, but Flowerson did not place the majority of those ads. Instead, Cvjeticanin stole the money and used it for his personal benefit.
If convicted, Cvjeticanin faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the six counts.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees, Newark Field Office, and the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge David J. Schnorbus, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Lorraine Gauli-Rufo Esq., Verona, N.J.