Date: December 20, 2019
NEWARK, N.J.– A former associate director of a global maritime service group was arrested today for defrauding the company and embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own personal benefit, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
David Buckingham, 35, of Chatham, New Jersey, was indicted on five counts of wire fraud. He was arrested this morning by postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to the indictment:
- Buckingham held the title of associate director and head of the New York office of the victim company, a global maritime service group headquartered in London, England. The company offered among other services, the handling of subrogation claims related to marine transportation of goods for insurance companies.
- Buckingham was a signatory on the company's United States bank accounts and had authority to issue checks for legitimate business purposes. Buckingham was also responsible for paying the company's payroll taxes.
- From 2016 through 2018, Buckingham embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Victim Company by writing checks from the Victim Company to himself or to "cash" to obtain funds to which he was not entitled. In some instances Buckingham falsified the Victim Company's books and records in an effort to make the payments appear legitimate by claiming that certain of the checks were to make tax payments on behalf of the Victim Company or to pay other legitimate business expenses. Buckingham did not make payroll tax payments on behalf of the Victim Company during the relevant time period, and instead used the proceeds of the scheme for his own personal expenses.
The charges of wire fraud each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Newark Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vijay Dewan and Courtney A. Howard of the U.S. Attorney's Office Economic Crimes Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.