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Ramsey bookkeeper indicted on charges of stealing $500,000 to feed gambling habit

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Ramsey flooring company bookkeeper who police said had a gambling habit systematically stole $500,000 over the past four years by forging the owner’s signature, an indictment returned today by a grand jury in Hackensack alleges.

Monica Arencibia, 50, of Dumont “engaged in transactions involving property [that] a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity, to facilitate or promote the criminal activity, and did so knowing the transaction was designed in whole or part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the property derived from criminal activity or to avoid a transaction reporting requirement of the U.S.,” the indictment says.

The owner of Modern Flooring Co. Inc. on Orchard Street reported the theft last June, Police Chief Bryan Gurney said at the time.

The income after large jobs didn’t match the work, the owner told police, so he reviewed bank statements from December 2013 and found $48,000 worth of forged checks with notes such “Xmas Bonus,” “Med Expenses,” “Commission” and other purposes, Gurney said.

He pointed to Arencibia, who was responsible for handling payroll and bills for the company, the chief said.

Detective Brad Smith and Officer Michael Thormann found that Arencibia “would create a check through Quickbooks accounting program, assign the check to a vendor and would then issue the check in the name of ‘Monica Arencibia’ and then forge the owner’s signature,” the chief said.

She cashed most of the checks at a Columbia Bank branch, Gurney said. Several were also sent to pay personal bills and debts, he said.

Most of the money, however, “was used in gambling activities at various area casinos” — primarily the Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Pocanos and the Empire City Casino in Yonkers.

Arencibia remained held on $250,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail today.

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