A former New Jersey bookkeeper recently pleaded guilty to bank fraud in federal court, admitting she orchestrated an elaborate $1.7 million check-writing scheme using fraudulent company checks.
Tammy L. Martinez, 46, of South Amboy, New Jersey, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey.
Martinez served as the office manager and bookkeeper for D & M Steel Corporation of Newark from January 2014 through March 2019. D & M also operates a small steel-hauling company, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.
Over a nearly five-year period, federal prosecutors allege Martinez used her position as a bookkeeper at D & M to issue approximately $1.7 million in fraudulent checks and forged her manager’s signature. Prosecutors claim she then cashed the checks at various TD Bank, N.A. locations in New Jersey, where her company had a business account, or deposited the money into a personal bank account.
Matthew Doherty, a TD Bank spokesman, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the bank fraud case.
When confronted about the alleged fraudulent check-writing scheme in March 2019, Martinez stated that she didn’t know where the money was and had a problem where she needed “money every day,” according to court documents.
As of press time, Marc Ducate, president of D & M, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding his former bookkeeper’s plea agreement.
Martinez faces up to 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in February 2020. She faces a fine of up to $1 million.