Flanders, NJ man indicted for role in trying to defraud a New Jersey bank millions of dollars
A Flanders (Morris County) man who worked for a bank and conspired with other people to defraud said bank, has now been indicted for his role in a scheme to loot millions of dollars from his employer.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Tuesday that Kurt Phelps, 53, is charged by an indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bank bribery, while three of the people he conspired with, previously pleaded guilty for their alleged roles.
It was a six-year rouse, between 2013 and 2019, that Phelps and the others obtained millions of dollars of credit from the bank for Starnet Business Solutions Inc. (Starnet), where Phelps’ conspirators worked, Sellinger said.
His conspirators allegedly paid him large cash bribes along the way as well.
Their scheme began in 2013 when Starnet received a line of credit from the bank after providing materially false financial information, Sellinger said, and the bank allowed Starnet to maintain the line of credit and even increased the line of credit on occasion.
Five years into their scheme, that line of credit was worth about $8-million.
Starnet has not repaid it, Sellinger said.
Phelps knew the financial information Starnet provided to the bank for the line of credit was materially false, and even coached them on how to defraud the bank by providing feedback on how to falsify the information before it was submitted.
He also helped Starnet avoid getting caught and avoid audits and other quality control measures employed by the bank, Sellinger explained.
For his efforts, Phelps hauled in tens of thousands of dollars in cash bribes at a time from Starnet, while his conspirators pooled cash to pay those bribes.
Attorney Sellinger said that the conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank bribery charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Suchorsky of the Economic Crimes Unit.
Defense counsel: Robert DeGroot Esq., Newark.