A 74-year-old Pennsylvania accountant and financial adviser has been charged with stealing more than $200,000 from a Princeton client’s trust fund.
John J. Katsock, Sr. of Yardley, Pa., is charged with second-degree theft by unlawful taking, second-degree theft by deception and second-degree misapplication of entrusted property. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine.
The case was referred to the Mercer County Prosecutor Office Economic Crime Unit in March by the victim’s attorney. An investigation revealed that Katsock, as the trustee of the Chauncey Meyer Irrevocable Trust, allegedly stole more than $200,000 from the trust since February 2010. The investigation is ongoing.
Chauncey Meyer, a Princeton native, died last month at the age of 91. She was a librarian at the Princeton Public Library for more than three decades. The trust has been in existence since 1996, officials said.
Katsock diverted money from the trust accounts in a variety of ways. In one scheme, he directed his client to make tens of thousands of dollars in estimated tax payments from her personal funds to both the Internal Revenue Service and the State of New Jersey Division of Taxation on behalf of the trust. Because the trust owed almost no taxes, this scheme generated large tax refunds that were then deposited into the trust. Katsock then transferred these funds to accounts he controlled. At other times, Katsock wrote checks to himself as professional fees that far exceed any permitted by law. He also diverted funds from the trust accounts to a corporation owned by the victim and then made loans that were never repaid. Katsock also allegedly withdrew in excess of $50,000 in cash from one of the trust accounts and deposited the funds into his personal bank account.
Search warrants were executed last week at two residences related to Katsock in Yardley, Pennsylvania, as well as his business, J. J. Katsock & Company, in Fairless Hills, by detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office assisted by detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, and the Falls Township and Lower Makefield police departments.
Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez set Katsock’s bail at $75,000 cash or bond.
Bocchini credited Detective Nancy Diaz of his Economic Crime Unit with the investigation leading to the charges. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant Prosecutor James Scott, chief of the ECU. Anyone with relevant information should contact Detective Diaz at (609) 989- 6997.