Feds: Bergen Tour Company Manager, 76, admits embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars

A 76-year-old Bergen County tour company manager told a federal judge on Monday that she and an accountant at the company misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from their employer.

Estela Laluf of River Edge, started working at the East Rutherford-based company in 1989 and took on a management role in 1996, acting US attorney Rachael A. Honig said.

Between 2010 and 2016, she and the company’s accountant conspired to write checks to the company’s bank accounts in cash, as well as to various actual company employees and contractors, individuals and corporations. shell companies for work they didn’t do, Honig said.

They then converted the money for their personal use, the US attorney said.

Laluf omitted proceeds from his 2016 tax return, Honig noted.

Rather than face trial, Laluf reached a settlement with the government, pleading guilty during a Monday video conference with a federal judge in Newark to wire fraud and agreeing to a false tax return.

U.S. District Judge Julien Xavier Neals has set his sentence for January 24, 2022.

Honig credited U.S. Postal Inspection Service postal inspectors and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agents with the investigation leading to the plea obtained by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Trombly from his cybercrime unit in Newark.

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