Ex-employee stole nearly 9G, cops say

A woman who had worked for a Nutley physician has been accused of stealing several thousands of dollars from her former employer, according to Nutley PD.

Sonia Marinas, 56, of Haledon, faces charges of forgery and theft by deception. She was arrested Feb. 10 at headquarters where she was booked and later released pending a court appearance.

Police said the doctor called for assistance on Oct. 22, 2014, after having discovered that close to $9,000 was missing from her business account. Subsequent investigation and the successful subpoenaing of bank records led police to conclude that Marinas was a prime suspect in the case.

Nutley Police Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari said that investigators determined that during the four months she worked for the doctor, Marinas had access to her employer’s checking account and that Marinas allegedly forged the doctor’s name on those checks to pay some of her own bills.

According to Montanari, close to 20 transactions involving those forged checks were made during the four-month period.

About two months after Marinas left the doctor’s employ, the doctor came upon the discrepancy in her account, Montanari said.

Montanari credited Nutley Police Det. Thomas Perrota, in particular, for his investigative work on the case. A 17-year veteran, Perrota is assigned to most of the department’s fraud investigations.

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In other incidents logged Feb. 7 to 13, Nutley PD responded to 24 motor vehicle accidents, 43 medical calls, 11 disputes, 10 suspicious incidents and these matters:

Feb. 7 

Police responded to a Warren St. location on a report of juveniles trespassing in the boiler room of an apartment complex. At the location, police said they found Fernando Acosta, 19, of Nutley, in possession of a suspected marijuana cigarette. He was arrested and charged with possession of drugs. He was also processed on an outstanding warrant from Nutley and released pending a court date.

Feb. 8 

Following a head-on collision at Washington Ave. and Centre St., police arrested Jayson Acevedo, 19, of Boca Raton, Fla., and ticketed him for DWI, careless driving, failure to maintain lane, driving while intoxicated underage, having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, failure to wear seatbelt and failure to exhibit proof of insurance. He was released to a family member pending a court appearance.

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Police responded to a Franklin Ave. pharmacy whose manager had reported a theft and arrested Angela Cacchio, 46, of Newark, in the store parking lot. Police said Cacchio admitted taking shampoo and conditioner without paying. She was charged with shoplifting $242.76 in merchandise and released pending a court date.

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Police issued notices of violation for failing to shovel their sidewalks within a 36- hour grace period to the owners of four homes on Passaic Ave. and Harrison, Ernest and Essex Sts.

Feb. 9 

While patrolling Centre St., police said they noticed a westbound vehicle that had no front license plate and pulled over the driver, Muevz Vincent II, 22, of Livingston, who, they said, had an active warrant from Rochelle Park. He was ticketed for failure to display front plate and, after posting bail, was released pending court dates on each matter.

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The victim of what police described as an ID theft told police they received a call from someone identifying themselves as “Brandon” from PayPal credit security asking them to verify a PayPal credit card account opened under their name. The victim told police they’d never authorized the transaction.

Feb. 10 

The owner of a Franklin Ave. business reported receiving a possible fraudulent $100 bill although the owner couldn’t remember the circumstances under which the bill came into their possession. Police took the bill as evidence.

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Another ID theft victim told police that someone had opened two Verizon accounts under their name without authorization. The victim said they learned this had happened after they’d planned to upgrade their cellular phone and found an outstanding balance of $1,000.

Feb. 11

An elderly resident’s son called police to report a phone scam. The son told police his father had received a call from a “Mark Collins,” with a heavy Jamaican accent, claiming to be with Publisher’s Clearing House, and asked his father to go to the nearest CVS and buy numerous $500 Vanilla Pack refillable gift cards, then return home and wait for someone who would pick up the gift cards and give him a larger sum of money in exchange. Police said they tried calling Collins but the number was out of service.

Feb. 12 

Police responded to a Lovel Court location on a report about solicitors wearing construction vests. At the location, police found two men fitting that description who identified themselves as IMP Marketing sales representatives. Police said one of the pair, Ronald McDaniel, 28, of Belleville, had six active warrants: three from Belleville and one apiece from North Arlington, Edison and Atlantic City. He was turned over to Edison PD.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff