NEWARK, N.J. – A former research technician and scientist for a worldwide consumer products company that researched, developed, designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold oral care consumer products was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for his role in a wire fraud conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Muamer Reci, 58, of Haskell, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In August 2012, two individuals established a consumer hygiene and cleaning products company, Reci & Sons, which, in November 2015, established a subsidiary, Reci Enterprises, in Macedonia. Reci never disclosed the existence of Reci & Sons or Reci Enterprises to his employer.
A document dated July 31, 2016, and titled “Project Eurodent” was recovered from Reci’s work email account. The document (the Eurodent Business Plan) described a plan for Reci Enterprises to develop, manufacture, and sell a toothpaste named Eurodent. The Eurodent Business Plan listed as one of its objectives to “Launch Reci Enterprises research labs, and manufacturing complex to the public by fourth quarter of Year 2017.” The Eurodent Business Plan valued the business at roughly $2 million.
As the anticipated construction date for the manufacturing facility approached, Reci sent several emails to an individual at Reci & Sons attaching his employer’s proprietary toothpaste formulas for existing products and an unreleased toothpaste product, as well as proprietary laboratory procedures for the employer’s products. For example, on Aug. 9, 2017, Reci sent an email to someone stating: “[p]rint this [sic] formulas and file them.” Attached to the email were proprietary toothpaste formulas belonging to the employer, including formulas for a dry mouth toothpaste that the employer had not yet launched, and a children’s toothpaste marketed by the employer. The email also attached the formula for Reci Enterprises’ Eurodent toothpaste, which contained proprietary signature features of the employer’s existing product.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Reci to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $188,384 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari B. Fontecchio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.