Employee of New Jersey-based trucking company charged with stealing more than $1 million from her employer
Posted By Kim Swindell Wood | September 9, 2015 8:47 pm
An employee of a New Jersey based-trucking company was arrested today and charged with swindling her employer out of more than $1 million by issuing company checks for her own benefit, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Tracey Perrigan, 53, of Sparta, Tennessee, is charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud. FBI agents arrested Perrigan this afternoon at her place of employment in Branchburg, New Jersey. She appeared late this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
Perrigan was an employee of a company identified in the complaint as “Company A,” the corporate parent of several subsidiary trucking, rigging, and transportation companies. Company A was headquartered in Oceanside, New York, and had a Branchburg facility. From September 2012 through August 2015, Perrigan allegedly orchestrated a check scheme through which she diverted funds from her employer to Southern Cross Transport Tow and Recovery (“Southern Cross”), a Tennessee corporation owned and operated by Perrigan and her husband.
Company A used the “Comchek” system, which enables clients to authorize and monitor fuel and repair expenditures by drivers in remote locations. As part of her employment duties, Perrigan was responsible for authorizing Comcheks drawn on Company A’s bank account. Before a Comchek can be presented for payment, the user must obtain a 23-digit code that authorizes the expenditure. The first five digits of the code are the unique number assigned to each Comchek customer.
According to the complaint, Perrigan allegedly issued Comcheks with Company A codes directly to Southern Cross. The Comcheks appeared legitimate and were accepted for payment because Perrigan used her position with Company A to generate seemingly valid Company A codes. As a result, Perrigan and Southern Cross received more than $1.2 million in Company A funds even though Company A has no actual business with Southern Cross.
Each wire fraud count is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Feder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.