Plumbing company owner charged with theft of more than $600,000

The owner of a plumbing company has been charged with theft for allegedly spending more than $600,000 on “personal items” instead of using the money to buy plumbing supplies for a Fort Lee high-rise building as he had agreed, authorities said Thursday.

John T. O’Brien

John T. O’Brien

John T. O’Brien, 46, of Lyndhurst, was supposed to purchase $1.43 million worth of copper piping and other supplies to be used at The Colony, a luxury cooperative apartment building, and signed documents saying he had bought all the items, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a news release.

The prosecutor said that O’Brien only purchased a portion of the materials, with $648,337 left over. Of the amount not spent, Molinelli said, “It is alleged that he spent the money on personal items.”

O’Brien was charged with one count each of theft by deception, theft by failure to make disposition of property received, and misapplication of entrusted property, all second-degree offenses, and with third-degree uttering a forged document, Molinelli said. He was arrested Tuesday and released after posting $25,000 bail.

The accused was the owner of J.T. O’Brien Plumbing & Heating, Molinelli said. That company’s telephone number has been purchased by another plumbing company in Morris County, which said that O’Brien Plumbing went out of business late last year. O’Brien did not immediately respond to a message left at a residence where authorities said he had lived.


Source: North Jersey

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