NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County man who embezzled funds from his company’s employee benefit plan over an eight-year period was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Howard Preschel, 63, of Teaneck, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to one count of an indictment charging him with embezzling funds from the CMG Vending Inc. Pension Trust Fund.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Preschel served as the sole trustee for the CMG Vending Inc. Pension Trust Fund. CMG Vending operated, leased, and rented vending machines throughout New Jersey and New York. As the trustee, Preschel, by law, was a fiduciary and therefore required to act solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries.
Between November 2010 and April 2018, Preschel embezzled $368,782.66 from the pension trust fund by engaging in 52 separate illegal withdrawals or transfers from various pension trust accounts. As a result of these illegal withdrawals and transfers, the trust fund accounts lost an additional $93,266.98 in interest.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Preschel to three years of supervised release. She also ordered Preschel to make restitution to the CMG Vending Inc. Pension Trust Fund in the amount of $462,049.64. Preschel also agreed to a debarment which prohibits him from acting as a fiduciary on behalf of any employee benefit plan for a period of 13 years.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Mikulka in Mountainside, and the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, under the direction of Acting Regional Director of the New York Regional Office, Thomas Licetti, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.