Four people have been arrested and charged with stealing more than $900,000 from a New Jersey-based trucking company by issuing fraudulent checks to nonexistent employees.
Lisa Popewiny, the payroll clerk at the trucking company Clifford B. Finkle Jr. Inc., allegedly devised a scheme to defraud the company out of $920,380 by falsifying payroll records and generating fraudulent paychecks payable to non-existent employees. Clifford B. Finkle Jr. Inc., offers transportation and freight services to public and private companies in the New York/ New Jersey area.
Three brothers, Angel D. Vidal, Angel Gabriel Vidal and Miguel Vidal, are accused of then converting the paychecks, depositing many in their bank accounts and funneling the money out as cash.
The company found out about the scheme when it was investigating suspected fraud and distributed the payroll checks to employees, a task that was normally completed by Popewiny. After distribution, six paychecks remained that turned out to be fraudulently issued. Further investigation revealed that she had input false hours for at least 12 different people.
The count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
The four were arrested on June 2, and have appeared before a federal judge in Newark.