Florida Man Charged with Using Bogus Transportation Company to Defraud New Jersey Factoring Business of $220,000
NEWARK, NJ—A Seminole, Florida, man was arrested at his home by FBI agents this morning for allegedly using phony invoices from his transportation company to obtain $220,000 from a New Jersey-based factoring business, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Karl Stehlin, a/k/a “Mark Sawyer,” 60, was charged by indictment with five counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III in Tampa, Florida, federal court.
According to the indictment:
From June 2014 through September 2014, Stehlin allegedly defrauded a Bergen County, New Jersey, factoring business that purchased accounts receivable in return for short term financing. Stehlin created a bogus Idaho-based company, Sawyer Express Transportation Inc., and e-mailed accounts receivable invoices to the factoring company for transportation services that were never provided. As a result, Stehlin was able to defraud the factoring company out of $220,000 in advance payment on those invoices.
The charge of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked special agents of the FBI Tampa Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal, for their assistance.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lakshmi Herman and Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.