Exec stole $115K from NJ autism nonprofit, spent it on lawn and fish tank
The former chief financial officer for an autism resources nonprofit pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing nearly $115,000 from the organization that is largely funded by taxpayers.
Peter Pflug, 56, of Freehold, the former CFO for New Horizons in Autism, pleaded guilty to second-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking. Under a plea agreement, the state will recommend that Pflug be sentenced to three years in state prison. He also will be required to pay full restitution.
His sentencing is set for March 22 in Superior Court in Freehold Borough.
New Horizons, a nonprofit based in Monmouth County, provides services to individuals with autism, including through the operation of group homes. It receives most of its program funding through a contract with the state Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Between June 2015 and February 2018, Pflug used the nonprofit’s credit cards and checks to make personal purchases, including $35,000 for home renovations and repairs, $20,000 for landscaping his property, and $2,000 to buy a fish tank and equipment. The charges were outlined in Pflug's indictment last summer.
Back in August, New Horizons spokesperson Carrie Conger said the organization was "shocked and saddened over the recent events surrounding any of our former staff."
"New Horizon's priorities have always been and will continue to be the health, the safety and the well being of the individuals we serve," she said. "The organization is committed to continuing the quality services of people with autism, and we'll do everything we can to ensure that we live up to that mission."
Conger said the organization helps people in Ocean, Monmouth and Bergen counties.