Some criminals think big. Then there’s Stefan Arteaga-Pitzenbauer, an employee of the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s unclaimed property office who thought he had hatched a foolproof get-rich-quick scheme. With the help of an accomplice, Luis Maura, he would file fraudulent claims for unclaimed property using fake names. Then the two would split the proceeds.
Unfortunately for this dynamic duo, the tax agency’s internal security team immediately spotted the unusual transactions and traced them back to Arteaga-Pitzenbauer. The state fired Arteaga-Pitzenbauer, prosecuted him and won a fraud conviction.
Now he must serve a year in jail and two years’ probation … and is permanently barred from public employment in the state. His sidekick, Maura, will get three years’ probation. The two also paid complete restitution prior to their sentencing.
The total take from the failed caper: $8,584.