More Embezzling

Second time in a few weeks Hoboken has made the news with local insiders busted for embezzlement. This time from the Housing Authority. Last time it was the Stevens employee.

How many more “embezzling rocks” are there to be turned over?

From the Newark Star Ledger.

Ex-accounting manager admits embezzling

In a plea deal, former Hoboken employee says he stole $111,000
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff

A former accounting manager at the Hoboken Housing Authority admitted yesterday he embezzled $111,000 from the agency in 2002 and 2003.

During a hearing in federal District Court in Newark, Eric Hurt acknowledged that he issued 34 checks to himself and concealed the theft by recording them as payments to city vendors. He cashed three of the checks and deposited the rest in a personal bank ac count.

“Did you know what you were doing was illegal?” Senior U.S. District Judge Harold Ackerman asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Hurt replied.

The case, investigated by FBI and IRS agents, appeared to be unrelated to the raft of other public corruption schemes uncovered in and around Hoboken in recent years. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Nobile said Hurt acted alone and no one else would be charged.

Hurt, a 38-year-old Jersey City resident, pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax fraud stemming from his unreported income. Under his plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a prison term of 18 to 24 months.

Hurt joined the housing authority in 2001 and two years later was promoted to accounting manager, according to court filings. As such, he issued checks to vendors and kept records pertaining to such payments.

Under questioning from the judge, Hurt admitted writing $111,083 worth of checks to himself from the authority’s general operating fund between July 2002 and December 2003. The prosecutor said Hurt was able to pull off the scheme without anyone noticing.

“He had ultimate control over the checks,” Nobile said after the hearing. “Apparently nobody was looking.”

He declined to say how the investigation began.

Hurt also admitted owing more than $24,000 in back taxes from the unreported income.

Neither he nor the prosecutor explained what prompted the crime or where the money went. State Superior Court records show that creditors have sued Hurt for more than $7,000 in unpaid debts in the past four years.

Hurt left the courtroom without commenting. His attorney, Brian Eyerman, declined to discuss the case except to say that Hurt was pleased that the charges were re solved and planned to pay restitu tion.

“He’s looking forward to getting on with his life,” Eyerman said.

Ackerman ordered Hurt re leased on a $100,000 recognizance bond, but restricted his travel to New York and New Jersey. He scheduled sentencing for Nov. 21.

A woman who answered the phone at the Housing Authority yesterday said no one who knew about the case was available to comment.

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