The company, Easton, Pa.-based Circle Systems Group, even cooked up inflated invoices to recoup money it had donated to schools' fundraising and charity efforts, Mitchell Kurlander admitted.
"So, you gave with one hand and took back with the other?" U.S. District Judge William Walls asked Kurlander, Circle's former chief financial officer.
"Yes, your Honor," Kurlander replied.
The 54-year-old Kurlander, of Allentown, Pa., and his father-in-law, Alan Abeshaus of Highland Beach, Fla., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. The count carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, but federal prosecutors said they will not oppose a motion that could keep the 81-year-old Abeshaus out of prison. Kurlander faces between 41 and 51 months in prison under terms of his plea agreement.