Ex-Pitman CFO Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion

CAMDEN, NJ—The former CFO of then-Harold M. Pitman Co., a Totowa, NJ-based graphic arts and printing supply company, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with a $2 million embezzlement scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman’s office announced.

John Eichner, 49, of Montvale, NJ, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle in federal court here last Tuesday. According to the information to which Eichner pleaded guilty and statements made in court:

Eichner admitted that, from 2003 through 2009, he embezzled money from the company by falsifying his 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. Eichner also caused wire transfers to be sent from Pitman Co. 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 confessed to embezzling 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 Feb. 24, 2011.

The Pitman Co. assets were acquired earlier this year by Agfa Graphics.

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