Authorities have charged two employees at a Neptune company with a variety of theft and fraud crimes for allegedly forging checks, utilizing the company’s credit card to make unauthorized purchases, and illegally employing the payroll system to steal over $300,000 from the enterprise.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni recently announced the arrests of 54-year-old Neptune Township resident Debra Latshaw and 67-year-old Freehold Township resident Marilyn Berger, two employees of the Neptune iron company Mastercraft Iron Inc.
According to law enforcement officials, Latshaw, who worked as an assistant bookkeeper for the company, stole approximately $300,000 by issuing fraudulent checks and making unauthorized purchases. As a result, she has been charged with two counts of theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, forgery, and uttering a forged instrument and is currently being held at the Monmouth County Jail in lieu of bail amounting to $35,000.
Berger, on the other hand, is facing charges for theft by deception and fraudulent use of a credit card for alleged illegal activities conducted through the company’s payroll system, as well as unauthorized credit card purchases. She was released from police custody after processing.
Of the two women charged in this case, Latshaw is clearly facing more severe penalties. Not only has she been charged with more offenses than Berger (each of which has associated penalties), but the amount that she is accused of stealing is significantly higher, which enhances the degree of the charges against her.
Specifically, theft crimes in New Jersey are graded based on the amount associated with the alleged offense. For example, theft offenses involving values over $75,000 are classified as second degree crimes, which entail a maximum sentence of 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. With this in mind, Latshaw could be sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration for each count of theft for which she has been charged.
For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Bookkeepers at Neptune iron company charged with stealing more than $300,000