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News

Prosecutor: Bean Counter Embezzled $1.1M From Bergen Firm With 'Ghost' Workers, Other Tricks

Maribel Rios (Roche)
Maribel Rios (Roche) Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

A bookkeeper from Hasbrouck Heights embezzled $1.1 million from a Bogota-based carpentry company by creating “ghost employees,” among other methods, authorities charged.

Maribel Rios, 51 – also known as Maribel Roche – “engaged in various schemes” to “manipulate the company payroll system” over a three-year period, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said Thursday.

The prosecutor said these included:

  • issuing payroll deposits to “ghost employees”;
  • issuing company checks to accounts that she controlled;
  • manipulating accounting software to justify the checks.

Then she used the money on herself, he said.

Detectives from Musella’s Financial Crimes Unit arrested Rios on Thursday.

She was sent to the Bergen County Jail to await a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on charges of theft and money laundering.

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