Athletic equipment supplier accepted nearly $1M in duplicate payments

The U.S. Attorney's Office recently announced that the former CEO and CFO of the reconditioned athletic equipment supplier Circle System Group have been charged for defrauding schools and universities in New Jersey.

Between 1997 and 2007, schools received invoices and statements from Circle System that looked extremely similar, which often led them to pay the company twice. Circle System received more than 500 duplicate payments worth more than $970,000. Instead of returning the payments or crediting the schools, Circle System's CFO, Mitchell Kurlander, instructed employees to deposit them into the company's account. Kurlander kept track of the duplicate payments in a secret bookkeeping account and sent some to his co-conspirator Alan Abeshaus, the company's CEO, in the form of special bonuses.

In addition to knowingly accepting duplicate payments, Kurlander and Abeshaus were also charged with fraudulently inflating invoices and submitting fake price quotes using the letterheads of other companies in order to persuade schools to sign contracts with Circle System.

In another similar case – albeit on a far smaller scale – a Massachusetts dentist was recently found to have accepted just under $5,000 in duplicate payments, according to the Taunton Gazette.  

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