A well-known Teaneck businessman whose vending machine and jukebox company paid five figures earlier this year to settle a copyright suit embezzled $186,000 from his employees’ pension fund, federal prosecutors charged.
Howard Preschel, 62, began skimming the money from a trust fund at CMG Vending Inc. five years ago, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Friday.
CMG -- which Preschel founded -- operated, leased, and rented vending machines throughout New Jersey and New York, Carpenito said.
“To conceal the ongoing embezzlement, Preschel failed to inform the participants and beneficiaries that insufficient funds were being forwarded to the pension trust and failed to file a required annual report for the plan,” the U.S. attorney noted.
Preschel -- a Teaneck native who was graduated from Boston University -- was charged with one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and one count of failure to file an annual report.
Four months ago, CMG Vending – along with its principals, Howard and Laurence Preschel – agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York by the Amusement And Music Owners Association of New York for using copyrighted material without paying for it (“unjust enrichment”), records show.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer allowed Howard Preschel’s release Friday on $100,000 unsecured bond in connection with the embezzlement charges following a hearing in federal court in Newark.
Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration with the investigation leading to the charges.
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