A Newtown man has been sentenced to 10.5 years in prison for stealing more than $2.3 million from two manufacturing companies owned by his wife’s family, according to New Jersey officials.
Michael Geiger, 53, will serve 3.5 of those years ineligible for parole, according to a statement from Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. In July, Geiger pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering.
According to information provided by Hoffman’s office, Geiger was CEO of American Casein Company and American Custom Drying Company from 2004 until 2009. The companies were owned by relatives of his wife, Donna.
Over the course of his employment, Geiger stole money from the companies to purchase cars, vacation homes and renovate his Newtown house.
“He drained millions of dollars from company accounts to fund his lavish lifestyle. He must pay for his crimes with a prison sentence that will introduce him to a very different lifestyle,” Hoffman said.
According to Hoffman, Geiger stole nearly $400,000 from the company by using 70 unauthorized company checks and wire transfers made payable to himself and his wife.
He had the companies pay for approximately $335,000 worth of work on his home and stole $75,0000 to buy four cars: a Porsche, an MG, a GMC Yukon and a Volkswagon Jetta, according to Hoffman.
He purchased two vacation homes using money from the company, including one in Cape May and another in Florida.
In November 2009, a month before he was terminated as CEO, Geiger issued two checks to himself for $734,220 in severance pay. The maximum amount that Geiger was permitted to receive in severance pay from the two companies under his employment contract was $300,000, Hoffman said.
In addition to the money laundering and thefts from the two companies, the indictment charged Geiger with stealing $1.4 million in unemployment insurance benefits by directing employees to underreport their hours and wages to the state.
Geiger implemented a rolling layoff program in which employees were laid off for one week per month, Hoffman explained. He directed employees to supplement their wages by filing fraudulent unemployment applications, which resulted in the employees receiving about $1.4 million in benefits to which they were not entitled.
After Geiger was fired, the two companies reached a financial settlement with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to resolve the violations.
Geiger and his wife were indicted in 2011. His wife was charged with conspiring with him in connection with some of the thefts.
The state agreed, in connection with his plea, not to oppose her application to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, information from Hoffman’s office said.