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Business

Prosecutor: Ex-Manager Stole $486K From Three Asbury Park Hotels

The Asbury Hotel
The Asbury Hotel Photo Credit: Google Maps

A hotel worker from Essex County has been arrested for stealing nearly a half-million dollars from his employer in Asbury Park, authorities said.

Larry Dembrun, Jr., 40, of Montclair was arrested on Tuesday by Asbury Park police and Monmouth County detectives and charged in the theft of more than $486,000 from his employer -- Salt Hotels -- which owns The Asbury Hotel, Asbury Lanes and the Asbury Ocean Club, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Dembrun’s most recent job with the hospitality company was regional manager, leaving him responsible for all three hotels, the prosecutor said. 

He has since been fired, according to Gramiccioni.

Asbury Park police were contacted by hotel executives on June 27 after an internal audit found that Dembrun had written numerous checks to pay personal credit card bills, Gramiccioni said.

Dembrun also had issued unauthorized checks to himself and to other members of the hotel staff, the prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Hotel staff “bonus” and “incentive” checks totaled $91, 295, Gramiccioni said.

After reviewing the hotel's operating-expense accounts as well as Dembrun’s personal bank accounts, investigators estimated that between January 2018 and June 2020, the hotel manager stole at least $486,882 from Salt Hotels, according to Gramiccioni.

In addition to issuing unauthorized hotel staff bonus checks, Gramiccioni said Dembrun paid off nearly $160,000 in personal American Express credit card charges and withdrew about $165,144 in cash.

The former hotel manager also began issuing unauthorized payroll checks to himself in the amount of $12,603, according to the prosecutor. 

If convicted of second-degree theft, Dembrun faces up to 10 years in state prison, Gramiccioni said.

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