Newton Man Faces Money Laundering Charges After Email Scheme Is Uncovered
A Newton small business owner could be facing jail time for laundering more than $75,000 in proceeds from an email scam he allegedly ran in 2017 and 2018. Robert J. Herburger, 60, is charged with having sent fraudulent emails to employees at multiple businesses seeking money for an apparently legitimate reason. Herburger then took the money he received and deposited it bank accounts in China.
This case, prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office’s Division of Criminal Justice, spotlights a type of business email compromise (BEC) scam commonly known as phishing, which makes an email appear to come from a source known to the recipient. Phishing scams have cost individuals and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars over the last 20 years. Organized crime groups are often involved, but anyone can carry out a BEC on their own or with a small group. In Herburger’s case, he allegedly acted with the help of an unnamed co-conspirator. Herburger’s actual business was a hot dog and hamburger stand in Succasunna, according to the New Jersey Herald.
Herburger faces charges of money laundering and receiving stolen property. Money laundering is a state crime though it can be charged in federal court as well. Under New Jersey law, it means doing one or more of the following with respect to property known to be, or which reasonably should be known to be, derived from criminal activity:
- transporting or possessing the property
- engaging in a transaction involving the property, either with the intention of facilitating or promoting the criminal activity or with the knowledge that the transaction is designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the property or to avoid required reporting of the transaction
- directing, organizing, financing, planning, managing, supervising or controlling such transportation or transactions
If the charges prove true, Herburger ran afoul of the first two types of conduct, because he knew the money was obtained illegally and he made deposits in Chinese banks for the purpose of disguising the source.
He faces second degree felony money laundering charges because the amount he stole was between $75,000 and $499,999. If convicted, he faces a penalty of five to 10 years in state prison.
Phishing and money laundering are two of today’s most common white-collar crimes. If you are accused of being involved in either, you need to find a highly experienced and aggressive defense lawyer to represent you.
The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman frequently defends clients facing all types of white-collar criminal charges. Our founding attorney is a former prosecutor with 40 years of experience, so we know what to expect and how to defend you. If you need a New Jersey defense attorney, call us right away at 866-221-1270 or contact us online. We have offices in Marlton, Newark, New Brunswick and Hackensack for your convenience.