Call in the authorities

Former Fair Haven furniture dealer William Neumann faces seven years in state prison after pleading guilty yesterday to defrauding customers out of $330,000 for goods that were never delivered, the Monmouth County Prosecutor‘s office says.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Neumann, 62, of Leonardo, also copped to a tax charge that carries a concurrent five-year sentence. 

This is how the matter was describer in a press release from the prosecutor:

Neumann was the owner of Cabbage Rose, L.L.C., and Chelsea Manor Unlimited. Cabbage Rose, L.L.C., was a furniture store located in Fair Haven, N.J. Chelsea Manor Unlimited was a business which sold furniture through the Internet. After numerous complaints were received by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Fair Haven Police Department and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, a joint investigation was initiated by those three agencies in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Taxation. The investigation revealed that Neumann received furniture orders and subsequently accepted deposits for merchandise pursuant to generated invoices. The investigation further revealed that from January of 2004 until January 2007, Neumann received payments from customers totaling over $330,000 but failed to deliver any of the merchandise or submit any refunds. The investigation determined that Neumann defrauded a total of eighty one victims nationwide. Additionally, from 2003 until 2006, Neumann failed to file New Jersey Gross Income Tax Returns.

Neumann also represented to his customers that he was an authorized dealer for several furniture distributors throughout the United States. The investigation further revealed that Neumann was never an authorized dealer for these businesses.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin stated, “The crimes which Neumann has now admitted his guilt to were the result of a cooperative investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Fair Haven Police Department, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Division of Taxation. Working together, eighty one individuals who were victimized by Neumann’s criminal conduct were identified. The proposed term of imprisonment is intended to punish Neumann for his actions. The payment of restitution is intended to begin to compensate the many victims for their losses.”

Here’s the full release: Download 030909

Neumann is scheduled to be sentenced June 19 by Superior Court Judge Ira Kreizman in Freehold. Meantime, Neumann is out on $150,000 bail.

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