Prosecutors: Ex-Port Authority commissioner pleads guilty

June 4, 2022 GMT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former carpenters’ union official who once served on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board of commissioners has pleaded guilty to embezzlement.

The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey said George Laufenberg pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Newark to embezzling about $140,000 in pension benefits and making false statements on a required report to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A federal indictment in 2019 alleged that Laufenberg defrauded the union’s benefits funds of more than $1.5 million. Prosecutors said he admitted stealing $140,000 paid to him under a deferred compensation agreement and making false statements in a form filed on behalf of the pension fund.

The 72-year-old Wall Township resident was appointed to the Port Authority board in 2014 by former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and served until early 2017. He is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 6.