ANOTHER CLIFFVIEW PILOT FIRST: George Ortega, the 50-year-old former managing director of a North Bergen-based global security company, was released on $100,000 bail today after being indicted by a Bergen County grand jury on charges of stealing $1.6 million from the company. Now investigators are going after accomplices.
CFS flag flies outside warehouse; George Ortega (MUGSHOT: Bergen County Prosecutor)
Ortega, who lives in Kinnelon, is charged with theft, money laundering and misconduct by a corporate official following an investigation into his dealings at Passport CFS Logistics.
Its parent company, ARGIX Direct, ships containers from throughout the Northeast to the North Bergen facility for stripping and separating the cargo before they’re moved to various locations nationwide, according to its web site.
The 125,000-square-foot facility is equipped with a sophisticated surveillance system and monitored by a private security company, it says.
Ortega ran a series of schemes beginning in January 2003 and continuing through this past May, during which he created invoices for payments to vendors that didn’t exist, in addition to invoices for shell companies he created to steal the money, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
He said Ortega also altered computer records and documents to try and cover up the deceit, and also issued checks to certain businesses that refunded him money directly, in addition to having checks made out to cash, which he then brought to local banks.
Some checks were “fraudulently disguised as payments to ‘trucking, transportation, or container handling companies’ that he used to pay for personal services and goods, Molinelli said.
Any scam that sophisticated requires the help of others. And although Molinelli didn’t disclose details, he did emphasize that “the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.”
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