Lead Inspectors in Trenton Plead Guilty to Embezzlement Scheme
Michael Ingram and William Kreiss admit to fraudulent overtime claims, totaling over $55,000 in illicit payments.
Trenton, NJ – In a shocking revelation in Trenton federal court, two lead inspectors, Michael Ingram and William Kreiss, have confessed to their roles in a conspiracy to embezzle funds from the city of Trenton. This admission comes after an extensive investigation by various federal agencies, highlighting a disturbing misuse of city resources and public trust.
Michael Ingram, 71, of Trenton, and William Kreiss, 40, from Yardley, Pennsylvania, faced U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to plead guilty to conspiracy charges involving the embezzlement and fraudulent acquisition of more than $5,000 in funds from the city. The scheme, which started around 2018, involved inflating overtime hours for residential lead inspections funded by a New Jersey State grant.
The Trenton Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH), was entrusted with conducting lead inspections in homes where children had elevated blood lead levels. Ingram and Kreiss, both BEH employees and others, were directed by a BEH supervisor to bill overtime hours for work not performed. This fraudulent activity extended to a city-administered meal delivery program.
Through this scheme, Ingram and Kreiss received substantial unearned overtime payments - $22,144 and $32,806, respectively. Their guilty pleas now expose a grave breach of ethics within the city's health services, raising concerns about oversight and accountability in public offices.
Both defendants now face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, with sentencing scheduled for April 24, 2024. The investigation, led by special agents from the FBI, EPA, and HUD, underscores the commitment of federal agencies to root out corruption and protect public funds.
The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden, with a focus on safeguarding the integrity of public health services and ensuring that those who abuse their positions of trust are held accountable.