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January 17, 2008
Police Say Man Got $469K in Direct Deposits Because of Payroll Error

The county prosecutor in Somerset County, New Jersey, is accusing an Illinois man of more than $469,000 in payroll theft after a company said it mistakenly paid him for more than 4 years.

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The investigation began when investigators and auditors at Avaya of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, discovered that payroll checks had been mistakenly direct deposited into the account of the man. The company immediately began an investigation and contacted law enforcement authorities.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest said that the investigation found that the man was offered a position with Avaya, which he accepted. The man rescinded his acceptance prior to starting with the company and never actually worked for Avaya. However, because of a system error, Avaya mistakenly began direct depositing payroll checks into defendant's personal account even though he never worked for the company.

Forest says the total payroll payments to the man exceeded $469,000.00. Avaya also said that it found that the man had withdrawn funds from an employee retirement savings account to which the company had made contributions.

Law enforcement authorities arrested the man at his residence and charged him with one count of theft by deception, second degree. The man is awaiting extradition from the state of Illinois to New Jersey to answer this charge.

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