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Accountant admits embezzling $1 million from Jersey City-based company

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

As senior accountant for Bel Fuse, Daniel Chiu managed employee stock option, 401(k)  and profit-sharing plans. He also managed to skim $1 million dollars in cash and stock from those accounts.

Chiu, 60, of Rockaway Township, admitted embezzling the money today as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. He remains free on $500,000 pending a Feb. 18 sentencing.

Chiu transferred more than 30,000 shares of stock and $50,000 in cash from the company’s benefit plans into his own account, said Robert Kirsch, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case.

Bel Fuse, headquartered on Van Voorst Street in Jersey City, is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange. It designs and manufactures electronic products utilized in high-speed telecommunications systems.

It employs about 6,000 poeple at locations throughout the U.S., and in China, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic.

Chiu, a certified public accountant, served as a senior accountant for Bell Fuse, and was responsible for the day-to-day administration of the company’s stock option employee benefit plan, 401(k) plan and profit-sharing plan, authorities said.

From December 2001 until he was fired on April 21, 2009, Chiu came up with various schemes to transfer tens of thousands of share of the stock — including inflating his contributions to the company’s 401(k) and profit-sharing plans. The company then matched the money and stock.

But he did so at from 500 to 2,500 shares at a time, forging the signatures of company officers, in an attempt to avoid detection.

Chiu said he also created a fraudulent document to transfer 2,000 shares of company stock to his son, even though the younger Chiu never worked for the company.

Bel Fuse notified authorities as soon as it learned of the embezzlement, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

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