NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man who served as a trustee of a pension fund was charged with embezzling more than $180,000 from an employee benefit fund, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
According to a statement released by federal authorities, officials charged Mr. Howard Preschel, 62, of Teaneck, complaint with one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and one count of failure to file an annual report.
Officials say Preschel made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.
**According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:**
Preschel served as a trustee for the CMG Vending Inc. Pension Trust Fund. CMG Vending operated, leased, and rented vending machines throughout New Jersey and New York. Preschel, by law, was a fiduciary and therefore required to act solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries of the fund. From at least October 2013, Preschel embezzled $186,123 from the pension trust fund.
Preschel was also required to publish and file annual reports with the Secretary of Labor. To conceal the ongoing embezzlement, Preschel failed to inform the participants and beneficiaries that insufficient funds were being forwarded to the pension trust and failed to file a required annual report for the plan.
The embezzlement charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The failure to file an annual report charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.