TRENTON -- A federal judge has authorized the sale of several assets - including two private planes and $1.5 million Florida home - belonging to a former payroll CEO charged with bilking several clients, including the city of Trenton.
The items belonged to John Scholtz, once the president of Innovative Payroll Services (IPS), who was charged in March 2016 with federal fraud and money laundering charges.
Authorities say he diverted clients' payroll money to his own accounts, and spent on lavish items, like a million-dollar Florida home and payments for cars, boats and airplanes.
In February of last year, when the missing payments were discovered, but before he was criminal charges filed, U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, in Trenton, signed orders to preserve IPS and Scholtz assets that could be used to help satisfy any future judgments.
The orders say the assets can be used to pay administrative, civil, criminal or other monetary penalties or restitutions imposed against Scholtz. Several items were sold last year.
Last week, on Feb. 21, Wolfson authorized the following sales:
- a single-family home on an island off Clearwater, Fla. for $1.5 million
- a townhouse in Hiram, Ga. for $139,900
- a 1976 Cessna 340A airplane for $90,000
- a 46-foot 1974 Hatteras Flybridge Convertible yacht for $22,500
- office furniture from IPS's former office in West Berlin for $8,000
New payroll position not a reaction to embezzling scheme, Trenton says
On Jan. 6, the judge signed off on the sale of Scholtz's Winslow Township home in Camden County for $295,000.
And on Nov. 29, 2016, Wolfson permitted the sale of a 2005 Cirrus SR20 airplane for $95,000.
Federal prosecutors say they've identified more than 50 clients with losses of more than $5.6 million
The City of Trenton took the biggest hit - with $4.7 million in tax monies collected from employee's payroll checks by IPS that was never sent to the Internal Revenue Service and the state of New Jersey.
Scholtz is free on bail while his attorney and prosecutors work on plea negotiations, documents filed in the case say. The latest extension in the case says the next scheduled hearing is on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Kevin Shea may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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