CAMDEN CITY, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man who owned a janitorial supply company admitted today to submitting fraudulent bills to a customer and
failing to pay taxes on the illicit proceeds of his scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Mitchell Bleicher, 52, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count each of wire fraud, money laundering, and income tax evasion.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Bleicher was the owner and operator of Allied Materials Inc. (Allied), a janitorial supply company in Berlin, New Jersey. Allied sold janitorial and cleaning supplies, office and break room supplies, food service items, safety equipment, and business printing and imprinted items.
Bleicher admitted that between 2009 and April 2018, he submitted invoices to Company 1, headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, that falsely listed products that Allied purportedly delivered to Company 1, when, in fact, Allied had not delivered those products. Allied’s fraudulent invoices also inflated the number of products that were actually delivered. As part of his scheme, and to ensure that his fraudulent invoices were accepted, Bleicher admitted that he paid a contractor working in the facilities department of Company 1 who was responsible for the janitorial supplies. Once that contractor left, Bleicher continued his fraudulent activity with the contractor’s replacement and rewarded him by buying him expensive dinners, taking him to professional sports games like the Philadelphia 76ers, and providing him with expensive wines. Later, Bleicher recruited an employee of Company 1 and gave her the fraudulent invoices to submit for payment.
Bleicher admitted that he used the money he got from the scheme – $1,917,381 – on numerous personal expenditures, such as Rolex watches, two Rolls Royce automobiles, two Subaru automobiles, motorcycles, home renovations and college tuition for his children.
Bleicher acknowledged that he failed to pay taxes on the money he received through fraud. Although he filed income tax returns with the IRS for 2011 through 2017, Bleicher did not report the money that he fraudulently obtained from Company 1. By not reporting that additional taxable income, Bleicher admitted that he defrauded the IRS of $578,902 in income tax revenue.
The count of wire fraud to which Bleicher pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The count of income tax evasion carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 17, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Harpster in Philadelphia; and special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Robert E. Welsh Esq., Philadelphia