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A&P SVP Defrauds Retailer

A&P SVP Defrauds Retailer


MONTVALE, NJ John R. Moritz, a former SVP of Marketing at The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) has pled guilty in federal court to fraudulently using company funds to buy tickets to high-priced sporting events, concerts and other shows. The tickets were supposed to be used to reward A&P employees for good work, but instead Moritz allegedly resold more than 7,000 tickets over the internet, pocketing more than $1.2 million. He pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the North Jersey Record. The sentencing is scheduled for July 9, 2014. Moritz admitted in court that he used the money he made from the scheme to make mortgage payments on multiple homes and buy jewelry, airplane flights, hotel stays, and ironically, groceries. As the executive in charge of advertising for A&P, he had access to large amounts of money and was thus able to conceal his ticket buying. Thousands of tickets were purchased for events including the 2011 Super Bowl, Lady Gaga concerts, Yankees playoff games, Chicago Bears games, and Broadway shows. According to court documents, Moritz instructed ticket vendors to send tickets directly to his private residence. The scheme allegedly occurred between December 2010 and December 2011. This was an especially difficult time for the company financially. In 2010, A&P declared bankruptcy, and emerged from bankruptcy in 2012. In 2011, A&P told workers that the company would not survive without reducing wages. The unions which represented the workers agreed to 3-6% wage cuts, a 5-year wage freeze, and reductions in vacation and sick time. A&P
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