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Biotech company accuses deceased accountant of stealing $300K from bank account

By Jim Boyle | Jan 8, 2015

PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey biotech company says that its deceased accountant and his wife fraudulently

stole more than $300,000 from a bank account used to make payments for the professional's services, according to a suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The managers of Pharmaseq, Inc., located in Monmouth Junction, N.J., seek damages including full restitution of the lost funds from the estate of Robert Griess and his widow, Barbara Griess, based on three counts including unjust enrichment, conversion and civil conspiracy.

According to the complaint, Pharmaseq contracted Robert Griess, of Philadelphia, in June 1998 to perform accounting services for the company. Pharmaseq has developed and manufactured a microtransponder called the p-Chip, which can be implanted into animal subjects and used as a platform to conduct biological research, increase the speed of drug discovery and to improve diagnostic testing, according to the company's website.

Payment for the services was allegedly made by the transfer of money out of Pharmaseq's bank account and into the Griesses' account at Third Federal Bank in Newtown. The complaint says that beginning in 2010 up until Griess' death on Nov. 22, 2013, the defendants accessed Pharmaseq's account and transferred money that was not payment for accounting services.

The claim says the transfers were not authorized and were used by Robert and Barbara Griess for their own personal benefit. Their actions interfered with Pharmaseq's right to possess its own money, the complaint says, and the company says it is owed full re-payment of the $315,469.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from George McClellan of Stewart, Bernstiel, Rebar & Smith in Blue Bell.

The federal case ID is 2:15-cv-00041-CMR.

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