CFO arrested in suspected robbery

CFO arrested in suspected robbery

A 15-year-old employee of the nonprofit Middle Earth in Bridgewater Township, NJ, has been accused of stealing more than $75,000 from the organization while working as its chief financial officer.

Jolee Roberts, 55, of Bridgewater Township, was recently arrested without incident at her home and charged with theft by deception, two counts of forgery and one count of credit card theft.

The Somerset County Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for more details and the exact amount of the alleged theft that occurred over a two-year period was not disclosed. The charge of second-degree theft by deception – which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison – is the most serious theft charge in New Jersey and covers sums allegedly stolen that exceed $75,000 .

The Somerset County District Attorney’s Office did not identify Roberts’ workplace, but her LinkedIn profile says she worked for Middle-earth for 15 years as finance manager, responsible for all aspects organization’s financial statements, annual budgeting and financial reporting to the Board of Directors. of directors.

Middle-earth executive director Maria Strada did not respond to a request for comment. Founded in 1972, the organization provides prevention, intervention and crisis services to adolescents and operates other programs, including an after-school program.

Records show Roberts was held overnight at Somerset County Jail following her arrest before being released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Somerville, NJ, on August 29 for a pre-charge conference. His attorney, Brandon D. Minde, did not respond to a call for comment.

The alleged theft was discovered after Roberts was fired from her job. The case was forwarded to the special investigations unit of the prosecutor’s office. Roberts is accused of cashing numerous checks and using credit cards issued to the nonprofit for personal expenses and purchases, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

Middle-earth staff are engaged in teaching youth leadership skills, directing them to SAT training, mentoring and mentoring student ambassadors who maintain a mental health website and assist in a scout. -to eat. In 2021, according to the organization’s annual impact report, staff worked with 159 young people who completed 1,187 hours of community service after being involved in minor youth incidents.

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