LACEY – Three former employees of a nonprofit organization for veterans have been indicted for theft after they allegedly embezzled thousands of dollars from the company.
Vetwork, a Lacey Township-based nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors, assists veterans in Ocean County with several services such as obtaining employment and finding suitable housing. The organization was partially funded by a generous grant received from the County.
Three former employees, Jesse Violante, 34, of Tuckerton, Mary Anne Dileo, 67, of Manahawkin, and Gary Mclain, 34, of Little Egg Harbor, have been indicted on a charge of Theft by Unlawful Taking. Officials discovered that all three were involved in embezzling monies from Vetwork beyond their approved salaries between February 2018 and June 2019.
According to officials, Violante was the director of Vetwork during the relevant time period and was responsible for overseeing the employees of the organization and certifying all expenses. Dileo was the office manager and was responsible for processing payroll, while Mclain was in charge of community outreach.
Investigation revealed that all three defendants received extra payroll outlays above and beyond what they were entitled to. It was determined that Violante, Dileo and Mclain took additional payments on certain weeks in excess of their regular payroll checks.
In total, Violante received five extra payments totaling $5,855, while Dileo received 26 duplicate payments totaling $19,588 and Mclain received five duplicate payments totaling $4,972.
These payments were not authorized by the Board, nor were they included in the documents submitted to the County of Ocean for purposes of obtaining funding, officials stated.
Violante and Dileo surrendered themselves to law enforcement and were charged on summonses, processed by Officers of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and released pending a future court appearance.
Mclain, who was originally charged on a warrant, surrendered himself to authorities and was subsequently released pursuant to New Jersey Bail Reform.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer acknowledges the work of Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit with the assistance of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, for their very thorough investigation resulting in the indictment.
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.