Former Car Dealership Employee Arrested For Money Laundering, Theft

Martin D’Amato (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  BEACHWOOD – An Ocean County man has been arrested and charged for stealing over $1 million from a local car dealership, authorities said.

  Martin D’Amato, 37, of Beachwood, was charged with Money Laundering as well as Theft in connection to a fraudulent billing scheme occurring at an automobile dealership located in Toms River.

  D’Amato was in charge of digital advertising for the dealership, and he was authorized to hire freelance advertising and marketing companies to promote the dealership.

  The dealership contacted police after learning D’Amato exceeded the budgeted amounts of the company credit card.

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  According to police, D’Amato used his position to steal about $1.3 million from the dealership through an elaborate shell company scheme.

  “D’Amato created multiple limited liability companies – under his personal control – to create the appearance he was retaining legitimate advertising and marketing services for the dealership. D’Amato used his position and authority to charge the dealership corporate credit card for services never rendered by these fictitious shell companies,” officials said.

  D’Amato proceeded to hide his association with the shell companies by using an online payment processing service to bill the dealership credit card. This online service then transferred the stolen money into D’Amato personal accounts.

  On September 19, D’Amato was arrested and brought to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

  Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer acknowledges the efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad for their diligence in connection with this very thorough and comprehensive investigation.

  The charges referenced are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.