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Eichholz indicted for embezzling more than $950K
Savannah attorney allegedly took money from 2 employee pension benefit plans
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    Savannah personal injury attorney Benjamin Sheftall Eichholz, whose television and print advertisements have made his name recognizable in southeast Georgia, was indicted this week for embezzling money from employee pension benefit plans.
    U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr., of the Southern District U.S. Attorney's Office, said Thursday that a federal grand jury returned the 77-count indictment, which alleges Eichholz, 58,  of the Eichholz Law Firm,  took more than $950,000 from two employee pension benefit plans from 2001 to 2008.
    "The indictment alleges  ... through a variety of different means, Eichholz embezzled (the money) and then repeatedly executed, mailed and filed false documents with the United States Department of Labor in order to both execute and conceal his embezzlement," Booth stated.
    "The indictment further alleges that during an investigation by the United States Department of Labor ...  Eichholz made numerous false statements to an investigator  ...  and committed other acts to obstruct justice, in a further effort to cover up his embezzlement from the employee pension benefit plans," he said.
    Eichholz is charged with embezzlement, money laundering, false statements in documents, obstruction of proceedings and false statements.
    For 30 counts of embezzlement, Eichholz could face up to five years prison, up to $250,000 fine and up to three years or supervised release.
    For four counts of money laundering, if convicted, Eichholz could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 fine and up to three years or supervised release., Booth said.
    Eichholz could face up to 20 years imprisonment, as well as up to $250,000 fine and up to three years or supervised release, for 10 count of mail fraud.  The same fine and supervised release applies to 10 counts of false statements in documents required t be filed by EISA - with up to five years in prison, he said.
    The single count of obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees as well as 22 counts of false statements  — can each carry a maximum of five years in prison, with the fine of up to $250,000  and up to three   years supervised release.
    Booth stressed that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  "The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," he said.
    Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department conducted the investigation, he said.

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