Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced Debra Schinnagel, 51, of Bayonne and Marvin Crespo, 35, of North Bergen both plead guilty today to one count of second degree theft by deception before the Honorable Robert H. Gardner, J.S.C.
Assistant Prosecutor Jane Plaisted said the two admitted participating in a scheme to steal more than $630,000 from Sal Son Trucking Company, located at 88 Doremus Avenue in Newark.
On Aug. 5, another person involved in the criminal scheme, Marco Laviola, 35, of North Bergen also plead guilty to one count of theft by deception. Between February 2005 and January 2007, Schinnagel and Crespo worked with Laviola to obtain false and fraudulent checks drawn on the company’s business account. In turn, they were given a portion of the $630,000 stolen from the company.
To commit the theft the defendants set up bank accounts in the names of various companies including JFK Towing, Zach’s Towing & Repair, UMP’s Shop Repairs, Slogan’s Towing and Brower’s Auto for the purpose of making deposits of money stolen from Sal Son Trucking Company. The money was later withdrawn from the accounts and distributed among the co-conspirators. Gambling was the motive for the theft, according to Assistant Prosecutor Plaisted.
“With these pleas today we will soon be able to close the book on a case of employees stealing nearly three quarters of a million dollars from a former employer. We are pleased these individuals have taken responsibility for their crimes and agreed to make restitution to the victim in this case, a hardworking business man,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Plaisted.
Sentencing for Crespo, Schinnagel and Laviola is scheduled for Oct. 18. All three defendants face 5 to 10 years in state prison.