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News

Former Bookkeeper Who Embezzled $1.78M From NJ Steel Company Gets Six Years In Fed Pen

Tammy Martinez took a deal from the government rather than face trial.
Tammy Martinez took a deal from the government rather than face trial. Photo Credit: the blowup on Unsplash

A former bookkeeper who embezzled $1.7 million from the Newark-based steel company she worked for must spend a plea-bargained six years in federal prison.

There’s no parole in the federal prison system, which means Tammy L. Martinez, 49, of South Amboy, must serve out just about the entire term.

For more than five years, Martinez forged her manager’s signature on bogus checks made out to her or to cash, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.

She cashed the checks at area TD Bank branches where the company had an account or dropped the money into a personal account, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark charges.

The breakout by year:

  • 2014: $143,895.50
  • 2015: $223,804.34
  • 2016: $250,221.45
  • 2017: $472,918.28
  • 2018: $575,369.41
  • 2019: $112,519.73

It all added up to $1.78 million dollars, the complaint says.

Martinez took a deal from the government rather than face trial, pleading guilty to bank fraud in November 2019.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi sentenced Martinez via videoconference to five years of supervised release. The judge also ordered her to pay full restitution.

Honig credited special agents of her office and the Newark Police Department with the investigation leading to the plea and sentencing, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamel Semper, the chief of her Organized Crimes and Gangs Unit.

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