Public Notices and Press Releases

Former CFO Charged with Embezzling Over $1.5 Million from New Jersey Law Firm

John Dunlea faces charges of theft by deception and tax evasion for misusing firm funds and failing to pay state income taxes.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, along with the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), has announced charges against John Dunlea, the ex-Chief Financial Officer of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP (the "McElroy Law Firm"), for allegedly defrauding the firm of more than $1.5 million and evading New Jersey income taxes. Dunlea, 61, from Westfield, New Jersey, is facing two counts of second-degree theft by deception and five counts of third-degree failure to pay tax, underscoring a significant breach of trust and financial malfeasance.

This legal action stems from a detailed investigation by the DCJ's Office of Securities Fraud and Financial Crimes Prosecutions, which uncovered the alleged financial crimes occurring between 2017 and 2022. Dunlea is accused of illicitly obtaining $1,182,965 through unauthorized compensation and directing the law firm to cover $355,256 in credit card expenses under the guise of business expenditures. These expenses included personal indulgences such as international and domestic flights, hotel stays, and restaurant bills for Dunlea and his family, further compounded by his alleged failure to report this income on state tax returns from 2018 to 2022.

Attorney General Platkin emphasized the state's commitment to rigorously pursuing cases of fraud and tax evasion, stating, "This case reinforces our commitment to ensuring that fraud and tax cheating does not go unpunished in New Jersey." He affirmed the state's determination to investigate and prosecute such fraudulent schemes to safeguard New Jersey businesses and maintain tax fairness.

The prosecution sends a stern warning to potential white-collar criminals about the serious consequences of exploiting business positions for personal gain. Deputy Attorney General Janet Bosi leads the prosecution efforts, under the guidance of Deputy Chief Adam Heck and Legal Chief Pablo Quiñones, aiming to establish accountability and deter similar fraudulent activities in the future.

While the charges against Dunlea are currently accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the case highlights the legal repercussions associated with white-collar crimes, including significant prison time and fines. The legal proceedings against Dunlea will further delineate the state's stance on corporate fraud and tax evasion, reinforcing the judiciary's role in maintaining corporate integrity and financial honesty within New Jersey's business community.

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