- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say the part owner of a northern New Jersey lumber company has pleaded guilty in a scheme to defraud customers of more than $700,000.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement that 61-year-old Robert Dattilo pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Officials say that from 2007 to 2015 Dattilo, as part owner of Bayway Lumber in Linden, New Jersey, gave free items to employees of customers then recovered the cost of the items and additional profits by overbilling.

The U.S. attorney’s office says some of the clients caught in the scheme included University Hospital, the city of Elizabeth and the New York Transit Authority.

Dattilo’s attorney declined to comment.

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