A New Jersey man who owned a janitorial supply company admitted cheating a customer by submitting phony bills in a nearly $2 million fraud and using the money to purchase luxury vehicles and Rolex watches, and pay his kids’ college tuition, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
Mitchell Bleicher, 52, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden to wire fraud, money laundering, and income tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement.
Bleicher, the owner and operator of Allied Materials Inc., a janitorial supply company in Berlin, admitted submitting invoices to an unidentified Cherry Hill company between 2009 and 2018 that falsely listed products that Allied claimed it had supplied, Carpenito said. Allied sold janitorial and cleaning supplies, office and break room supplies, food service items, safety equipment, and business printing and imprinted items.
Prosecutors say Bleicher made about $1.9 million from the scheme and used Allied’s business and American Express accounts to support his lifestyle and personal expenses. Prosecutors say he used the money to pay for two Rolls-Royces, several Rolex watches, jewelry, designer clothing, firearms, two Subaru vehicles, motorcycles, home renovations, and college tuition for his children.
Bleicher acknowledged failing to report the money he received from the fraud on his income tax returns from 2011 to 2017, Carpenito said. Bleicher admitted defrauding the IRS of $578,902 in income tax revenue, the prosecutor said.
The fraudulent invoices, authorities say, reflected a higher number of products than were actually delivered. To make the scheme work, Bleicher admitted paying a contractor in the facilities department of the Cherry Hill company, the government said.
When that contractor left the company, Bleicher enlisted the employee who replaced him, buying him expensive dinners and wines, and taking him to sporting events such as 76ers games, authorities said. Bleicher later recruited a third employee to submit the fraudulent invoices for payment.
The name of the company was not disclosed. Bleicher could not be reached for comment.
As part of the plea agreement, Bleicher agreed to forfeit 26 vehicles, including a Corvette, a Land Rover, and two Mercedes-Benzes, as well as the Rolex watches and seven other pieces of jewelry purchased from Bernie Robbins Jewelers.