A 30-year employee of an Eatontown-based manufacturing business has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $600,000 from her employer over a two-year period, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said on Friday.
Michelle Pulignano, 51, of Middletown, has been charged with second-degree theft following a three-month investigation. If convicted of the second-degree offense, Pulignano faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison.
The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Eatontown Police Department sparked by a referral from the owner of an Eatontown-based manufacturing business on May 1, 2017, regarding a suspected employee theft.
The investigation revealed that between April 1, 2017 and April 17, 2019, Pulignano, who was employed as a bookkeeper at an Eatontown-based manufacturing business for the past 30 years, awarded herself unauthorized salary increases and personal bonuses in the amount of $223,846.00.
In addition, during the same time period, she wrote checks to herself in the amount of $450,000 from the company’s payroll account without authorization. The investigation determined she used the funds for her own personal benefit.