the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ramsey NJ, a Bergen County, New Jersey, man today admitted engaging in a conspiracy to divert to his personal use over $516,000 in customer payments owed to his former employers, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Joseph Spaccavento, 41, of Ramsey, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From February 2013 through September 2018, Spaccavento conspired with a former co-worker, Melissa Corso, to divert customer payments owed to their former employers for their own use and benefit. Corso instructed certain customers of the victim companies to submit their payments to a PayPal account (the “Scheme Account”) registered in Spaccavento’s name and associated with Corso’s work email address. The account was not authorized by the victim companies.
Spaccavento and Corso caused withdrawals to be made from the Scheme Account and diverted the funds to the personal PayPal accounts of Spaccavento, Corso, and others. Spaccavento and Corso also caused transfers of funds from the Scheme Account to various commercial retailers to pay for personal expenses. Purchases from these commercial retailers were shipped to the home and work addresses of Spaccavento, Corso, and others. The victim companies lost $516,857.
Corso was arrested on Feb. 5, 2021, and charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud for diverting customer payments owed to the victim companies to the Scheme Account for personal use. Those charges and allegations against Corso contained in the complaint, which is still pending, are merely accusations, and Corso is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The conspiracy to commit wire fraud count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Kozar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.