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Monmouth Prosecutor: South Jersey Man Stole $178K In Payroll Checks

Hanro USA warehouse in Eatontown Photo Credit: Google Maps
Hanro of Switzerland Photo Credit: Jon Craig

A Burlington County man is accused of stealing $178,058 from his employer by cashing payroll checks for seasonal employees who were not actually working during the pay periods, authorities said.

Edwin Montanez, 62, of Willingboro, was charged with theft of moveable property during a six-year time frame, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement.

The theft occurred while Montanez worked as a supervisor at Hanro of Switzerland, which has an office and warehouse in Eatontown, the prosecutor said.

If convicted, Montanez faces a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, he said.

The charge is the result of an investigation by the Eatontown Police Department with assistance from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. 

From July 31, 2012 through June 15, 2018, Montanez was clocking-in employees, who were not actually working, then depositing those employees’ payroll checks into his personal bank account, authorities said. A total of 345 separate payroll checks were deposited and credited to his account, Gramiccioni said in his statement.

Montanez was served with a complaint summons last month during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, he said.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence H. Nelsen, III. 

Attorney Mark A. Bernstein of Cherry Hill is representing Montanez.

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