A former project accountant at Tishman Construction Corporation has pleaded guilty to stealing $2.8 million from the company in a phony invoicing scheme, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s office announced this afternoon.
John Hoeffner will get seven to 14 years in prison and must pay $1,420,214.66 in restitution for forging vendor invoices and altering vendor checks related to Tishman work at Yeshiva University in Upper Manhattan.
Full release from the DA’s office below.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY – NEW YORK COUNTY
NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: Alicia Maxey Greene August 4, 2008 212-335-9400
Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today that a former project accountant at Tishman Construction Corp. has pleaded guilty to stealing $2.8 million from the company in a phony invoicing scheme.
The defendant, JOHN HOEFFNER, 47, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the First Degree and Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. As a result of his plea, the defendant will receive 7-14 years in prison and pay restitution in the amount of $1,420,214.66.
HOEFFNER forged vendor invoices and altered vendor checks while assigned to the Tishman construction project at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, between March 31, 2006 and May 13, 2008. As a project accountant, HOEFFNER was responsible for receiving invoices for payment from vendors and subcontractors, preparing checks for signature by senior Tishman managers, and distributing the checks to the payees.
The investigation leading to today’s plea revealed that HOEFFNER incorporated a phony company with a name similar to a legitimate vendor to carry out his scheme. He systematically faked invoices and submitted them to Tishman with payment checks to be signed. Once the checks were issued, he modified them, making them payable to his similarly-named company, and deposited them into accounts that he controlled. The defendant altered and deposited a total of 99 such checks. In addition, the defendant changed eight checks issued to another legitimate vendor by adding his own surname “HOEFFNER” to the checks so he could deposit them and steal the money. The 107 checks altered and deposited by the defendant totaled $2,801,578.75. The theft was discovered by a Tishman auditor during a review of the company’s various projects.
The defendant, who was arrested on June 13, 2008, waived his right to appeal. His sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2008.
Assistant District Attorney Judy Salwen, who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Bureau, is in charge of the prosecution under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Thomas Wornom, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau.
Mr. Morgenthau thanked the Tishman Construction Corp. for its cooperation in this investigation.
John Hoeffner, 08/19/1960
1467 Burton Street
Beechurst, New York