NEWARK, NJ – After a seven-day trial, a jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Newark found Paul Moe Sr., general foreman for a Port Elizabeth terminal operator, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 substantive counts of wire fraud.
The jury found that – from September 2015 through March 2017 – the Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, resident fraudulently colluded with others to report that he worked 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week – while he only appeared at his job site for as little as 8 hours during certain weeks – and collected almost $500,000 in annual compensation. Under the applicable collective bargaining agreement, Moe was entitled to be paid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if he worked the mandatory 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week.
For Moe to collect his $9,300 weekly paycheck, other conspirators submitted false timesheets each day on his behalf. The substantive wire fraud counts consist of 13 weekly timesheets in which Moe – having either failed to appear at the job site or while being out of state or out of the country – was paid as if he had been on the job for a minimum of 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. Based on the inflated hours reported on the false timesheets, his employer also made contributions to the NYSA-ILA Money Purchase Pension Fund and Plan based on a 168-hour workweek.
“When individuals knowingly submit fraudulent documents to enrich themselves the government will pursue them aggressively to punish and correct such abuse and deter others from similar criminal conduct,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Jonathan Kay, in New York.
Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick credited the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Employee Benefits Security Administration, New York Region; the Office of Inspector General; the Office of Labor Management Standards; and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, with the investigation.
Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.