NEWARK, NJ – A former executive at a New Jersey publication company pleaded guilty today to defrauding the company by embezzling millions of dollars for his personal benefit, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Nestor Charriez, 60, of Scotch Plains, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

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The court documents said Charriez was a longtime senior employee of "Victim-Company 1, a publication company based in New Jersey." According to a Bloomberg profile Charriez was the controller of Harrison Scott Publications, a privately held, Hoboken-based publishing company with 28 employees. It publishes "Exclusive news and information for professionals in the real estate, finance and investment fields," according to the Harrison Scott Publications website.

Charriez's financial responsibilities at the firm included overseeing and managing employee payroll. He would submit payroll information to an outside payroll company, which would process the company’s payroll requests.

From at least 2002 through June 2019, Charriez defrauded by embezzling millions of dollars through unauthorized “bonus” payments to himself. He submitted false payroll instructions to the outside payroll provider, indicating that Charriez was entitled to massive bonuses – hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time – which his company had not approved.

Charriez carried out this scheme on numerous occasions over nearly two decades. In total, he stole more than $48 million from his employer and spent the money he stole on personal expenses.

The wire fraud count to which Charriez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Suchorsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.