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Autism advocacy group CFO pocketed $115K for personal use, OAG says

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Attorney General Gurbir Grewal at the Department of Environmental Protection's celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at DEP in Trenton on May 10.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal at the Department of Environmental Protection's celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at DEP in Trenton on May 10. - ()

The chief financial officer of an autism advocacy group illegally pocketed over $115,000 of the organization's money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including $2,000 for a fish tank and related equipment, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal alleged in a Tuesday afternoon announcement.

Peter Pflug of Freehold, the former CFO for New Horizons in Autism, was indicted by a grand jury on Aug. 21 on second-degree charges of theft by unlawful taking and misapplication of entrusted property and property of government.

Pflug, who had access to the nonprofit’s credit cards and checking accounts, made thousands of dollars in unlawful purchases, Grewal said.

Among those purchases: $10,000 for home carpeting; $20,000 for landscaping and fencing outside his home; $10,000 for a new refrigerator, dining room and bedroom set; $35,000 for home renovations; and $36,000 for a luxury car, according to the attorney general’s office.

If convicted, Pflug could spend up to a decade in prison and be ordered to pay upwards of $150,000 in fines.

Grewal said that Pflug “abused” his position as the nonprofit’s CFO.

“In this case, the betrayal was even more egregious because Pflug allegedly stole public funds intended for the assistance of a particularly vulnerable population,” added Veronica Allende, director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

New Horizons, a nonprofit based in Monmouth County, operates group homes and other services for people with autism and, said Grewal, receives public funding through contracts with the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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