CAMDEN, NJ – Federal authorities have charged a city man for allegedly swindling $156,000 from a government program that safeguards abandoned funds owed to people or entities in the Garden State.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey alleges that Alfred Powner II, 39, defrauded the state's Unclaimed Property Administration from September 2019 until March 2020.
As part of the scheme, the federal prosecutor says Powner submitted phony documents and false applications to the unclaimed property program.
Powner was arrested on Thursday on one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III, in Newark, during a video conference.
The federal complaint alleges Powner applied for funds that were abandoned years ago by a company called Softpro Metro Corp. and/or Software House.
It also charges that Powner provided a fake 1982 incorporation certificate listing him as a company director. But Powner would have been an infant at that time, the complaint says.
The unclaimed property program mailed a check for about $156,000 to Powner in April 2020, the complaint says.