Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the former office manager for a small business in Robbinsville, was sentenced to state prison today for embezzling more than $150,000 from her former employer over a period of more than six years.
Coleen Gibbas, 52, of Conshohocken, Pa., was sentenced today to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Timothy P. Lydon in Mercer County.
She pleaded guilty on June 26 to an accusation charging her with second-degree theft by unlawful taking.
In pleading guilty, Gibbas admitted that she stole $150,931 from her employer, Tri-State Knife Grinding Corp., between November 2008 and March 2015. Gibbas must pay full restitution. Her attorney will make an initial restitution payment of $88,061 next week on her behalf.
Gibbas was employed as an office manager by Tri-State Knife between 2001 and March 2015, earning an annual salary of up to $67,000. Tri-State Knife has industrial contracts to sharpen knives and industrial equipment. Her job responsibilities included preparing and issuing checks to the company’s employees and vendors, which required her to obtain the signature of the company’s owner on each check or to sign checks that he authorized her to sign.
She also was responsible for keeping accurate records in the company’s check register of the checks issued.
The state’s investigation revealed that between November 2008 and March 2015, she issued more than 100 unauthorized checks totaling approximately $150,931. She forged the owner’s signature on most of these checks or signed her own name without the owner’s authorization. She deposited the checks into her personal bank account. In most instances, in order to conceal the theft, she made false entries in the check register, indicating that the checks had been paid to a vendor used by the company, when in fact the checks were made payable to her.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to confidentially report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities. The public also can log on to the Division’s web page at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.