A statement from the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice announced John Eichner entered a guilty plea, over his actions in a $2-million embezzlement scheme, before a U.S. District Judge in New Jersey.
Eichner, based on criminal actions he committed as Chief Financial Officer of Harold M. Pitman Company, entered his plea guilty on November 9th to wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with the scheme.
According to the FBI statement, Eichner admitted that from 2003 through 2009, he embezzled money from Pitman Company by falsifying expense reimbursement forms. Specifically, Eichner said that he submitted numerous requests for reimbursement for personal expenses, including lodging at luxury hotels and resorts, meals at high-end restaurants, clothing, and jewelry from retailers such as Nordstrom, Coach, and Tiffany and Co.
In March 2010, Pitman hired a new CFO in Donald Stires. Then in July 2010, Agfa Graphics announced its pending purchase of Pitman, which has been subsequently completed.
The FBI statement also makes note that Eichner caused wire transfers to be sent from Pitman Company accounts to pay for additional personal expenses he incurred, including a $30,000 wire to pay for cases of wine that he had purchased from Sotheby’s. In all, Eichner embezzled more than $2 million, and purposefully failed to report the illicit proceeds of his scheme to the IRS.
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the aggregate gain or loss. The charge of tax evasion carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Simandle continued Eichner’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for February 24, 2011.