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Essex County Authorities Break Up Million Dollar Corporate Theft Scheme Involving Purchased Sports Memorabilia

By rlsmetro on
Fairfield Township (Essex)

The Fairfield Police Department announced the arrests of Ms. Regina DeComa, 36, of Cedar Grove, Ms. Dawn Becker, 55, Oakland, and Mr. Allan Soriano, 42, of Cedar Grove on a variety of fraud charges that allegedly relate to the theft of over a million dollars.

According to a statement released by Fairfield Police, on October 2018 and August 2020 DeComa, who was an office manager and Becker who was the financial comptroller of a Fairfield business made unauthorized distributions of corporate funds to themselves, charged items to corporate accounts and DeComa even opened an unauthorized corporate American Express card in her name. 

According to Fairfield Police officials, some of the items purchased with the stolen corporate funds included high-end sports memorabilia and a Peloton exercise bike. It is even alleged that DeComa, who is engaged to Soriano, purchased her own engagement ring with the theft proceeds. 

Police say, Soriano, who is the owner of AJ’s Lunchbox in West Caldwell, allegedly renovated his business in March when most eateries were closing down due to the COVID-19 pandemic allegedly using stolen funds from the company.

Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Didyk and Detective Steven D’Argenio conducted the nearly five-month investigation in consultation with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation culminated on December 9, when Fairfield police executed search warrants at two Cedar Grove residences and at the deli in West Caldwell.

Police alleged that amongst some of the items recovered was sports memorabilia that included a framed autographed Michael Jordan University of North Carolina jersey, valued at approximately $10,000, a framed game-used base signed by Derek Jeter, and several autographed Eli Manning helmets and pictures. 

Police say also recovered was the Peloton bike and DeComa’s engagement ring.

DeComa and Soriano were arrested immediately after the search warrant execution. DeComa was charged with credit card theft, theft by deception, corporate misconduct and three counts of conspiracy. Soriano was charged with credit card theft, theft by deception and two counts of conspiracy.

Police said both were released on their own recognizance pending further legal proceedings.

According to police, on December 14, 2020, Becker surrendered herself to Fairfield authorities. She was charged with credit card theft, theft by deception, corporate misconduct and conspiracy and released on her own recognizance.   

“This was an extensive and comprehensive investigation that took some time for our investigators to fully determine the complete scope of the criminal activity but they did an outstanding job,” Chief Anthony G. Manna said. “As is the case most of the time, greed remains law enforcement’s greatest ally in helping us to catch criminals,” said the chief.