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Press Release

Former Carpenters' Benefit Plan Administrator Sentenced to Six Months' Home Confinement, Three Years' Probation for Embezzling $140,000

Issued by U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ]

Nov. 17, 2022

NEWARK, N.J. – The former administrative manager of a carpenters’ union pension fund was sentenced today to six months of home confinement and three years of probation for embezzling approximately $140,000 and making false statements on a required report to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

George R. Laufenberg, 72, of Wall Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin R. McNulty to two counts of an indictment charging him with embezzling approximately $140,000 in pension benefits and making false statements to the DOL. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Laufenberg was the administrative manager of the Northeast Carpenters Pension Fund, which was subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Laufenberg was a fiduciary and participant in the pension fund. He admitted stealing $140,000 that was paid to him under a deferred compensation agreement to which he was not entitled. Laufenberg also admitted that he made false statements in a form required under ERISA that he filed to the Department of Labor on behalf of the pension fund.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty fined Laufenberg $20,000 and debarred him from any future association with a union or benefit plan.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the DOL Employee Benefit Security Administration, under the supervision of Thomas Licetti, Regional Director; special agents of the DOL Office of the Inspector General, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and agents of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, under the supervision of Inspector General John Gay, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall R. Randolph of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.

Press Release Number: 22-423

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