🔲 NJ man accused of stealing from employer

🔲 57-year-old was CFO of low-income housing complex

🔲 Man accused of spending $1.6M on own mortgage, pool, renovations



A 57-year-old Union County man who helped oversee a low-income housing high-rise in Long Branch is accused of stealing more than $1.6 million from work, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago announced Thursday.

John O’Donnell, of Scotch Plains, has been charged with second-degree theft by unlawful taking and third-degree counts of forgery and false uttering — stemming from what prosecutors said was rampant theft over a span of more than 14 years.

Monmouth County cash money (Canva)
Monmouth County cash money (Canva)
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In June, the company that owns the Washington Manor complex took note of a $14,000 life-insurance payout to O'Donnell, then chief financial officer.

The sum sparked an internal audit.

O'Donnell accused of spending stolen $1.6M on mortgage, pool, renovations

Investigators with the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau of the Office of the  Monmouth County Prosecutor found that from February 2009 into May, O’Donnell issued about 400 unauthorized checks from company accounts to a construction firm he owned.

Many had the forged signature of an employee at Washington Manor, which manages 100 housing units along Ocean Boulevard for seniors and disabled individuals.

O’Donnell has been accused of using the stolen cash for personal expenses, such as mortgage payments.

From December 2020 to May, O’Donnell also used a Washington Manor credit card for more than $30,000 in unauthorized personal purchases, such as home renovations, pool services, and HVAC repair.

Public records show O’Donnell listed as owner of a home bought in 2021 for $383,618.

The four-bedroom home was now estimated at a value of over $1 million, according to Zillow.

O’Donnell was charged via summons, pending a first appearance in Monmouth County Superior Court set for Feb. 20.

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