CHATHAM, NJ (Morris County) – A former associate director of a global maritime service group Thursday admitted embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars and to failing to collect, account for, and pay over hundreds of thousands in federal payroll taxes, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
David Buckingham, 38, of Chatham pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to one count of wire fraud and one count of failure to collect, account for, and pay over federal payroll taxes, Sellinger said.
Buckingham was originally charged by indictment in December 2019 with five counts of wire fraud, Sellinger said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Buckingham held the title of associate director and head of the New York office of a global maritime service group headquartered in London, England. From 2016 through 2018, Buckingham used his position and access to the company’s bank accounts to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars by writing checks to himself or to “cash.”
Buckingham falsified the company’s books and records in an effort to make the payments appear to be legitimate business expenses and to cover up his fraud. From in or around February 2016 to October 2018, Buckingham also willfully failed to account for and pay over to the IRS payroll taxes for the employees of the company in the amount of $277,051.
The wire fraud count carries a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The tax count carries a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Buckingham is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14, Sellinger said.