NEWARK, N.J. – 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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Charriez was a longtime senior employee of Victim-Company 1, a publication company based in New Jersey. Charriez’s financial responsibilities at Victim-Company 1 included overseeing and managing employee payroll. He would submit Victim-Company 1’s payroll information to an outside payroll company, which would process Victim-Company 1’s payroll requests.

From at least 2002 through June 2019, Charriez defrauded Victim-Company 1 by embezzling millions of dollars through unauthorized “bonus” payments to himself. He submitted false payroll instructions to Victim-Company 1’s outside payroll provider, indicating that Charriez was entitled to massive bonuses – hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time – which Victim-Company-1 had not approved.

Charriez carried out this scheme on numerous occasions over nearly two decades. In total, Charriez stole more than $48 million from Victim-Company 1 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.