CAMDEN, NJ — Rolex watches and a couple Rolls Royce automobiles were some of the items bought by the owner of a Camden County janitorial supply company who cashed in on fraudulent invoices and unpaid taxes for 10 years, and now owes more than $10 million in restitution.
Mitchell Bleicher, 53, has been ordered to pay $9.5 million to a Cherry Hill company and $584,255 to the IRS and will serve 50 months in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey announced Wednesday.
The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court, at the Mitchell H. Cohen district courthouse.
In addition to the prison term, Bleicher will serve three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Bleicher, the former owner of Berlin-based Allied Materials Inc., previously pleaded guilty before District Judge Kugler to a charge each of wire fraud, money laundering, and income tax evasion.
Allied sold janitorial, cleaning, office, and break room supplies; food service items; safety equipment, and business printing materials.
According to case documents and statements made in court, Bleicher admitted to sending invoices from 2009 to April 2018 to the Cherry Hill firm, known as 'Company 1,' that falsely listed products that Allied said it delivered but never did.
The fraudulent invoices also inflated the number of products that actually had been delivered. As part of the scheme, Bleicher admitted that he paid a contractor working in the facilities department of Company 1 to ensure that his fraudulent invoices were accepted.
Once that contractor left, Bleicher continued the fraudulent activity with the man's replacement. Bleicher rewarded the new contractor with lavish dinners, tickets to professional sports events such as Philadelphia 76ers games, and expensive wines.
Bleicher later recruited an employee of Company 1 and gave her the fraudulent invoices to submit for payment.
The money that Bleicher got from the scheme checked in at $1,917,381, which he later admitted to using on numerous personal expenditures: two Subaru automobiles, motorcycles, home renovations, and college tuition for his children, as well as the watches and two Rolls Royces.
Bleicher acknowledged that he failed to pay taxes on the money he received through fraud. Although he filed income tax returns for 2011-2017, he did not report the money that was fraudulently obtained from Company 1. That meant Belcher had defrauded the IRS of $578,902 in income tax revenue.
Carpenito credited the investigation of the fraudulent practices to special agents of the FBI and special agents of the IRS.