- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A Pennsylvania woman has admitted embezzling more than $150,000 while working as office manager at a central New Jersey company.

Coleen Gibbas, 51, of Conshohocken, pleaded guilty Friday to theft by unlawful taking. In return, prosecutors will recommend she get a three-year prison term when she is sentenced Sept. 18.

Gibbas was the office manager at Tri-State Knife between 2001 and March 2015. Her job responsibilities included preparing and issuing checks to workers and vendors, which required her to get the signature of the company’s owner on most checks, though she was authorized to sign some herself.

State investigators found that between November 2008 and March 2015, Gibbas issued more than 100 unauthorized checks totaling about $150,931. She forged the owner’s signature on most of the checks or signed her own name without the owner’s authorization.

Gibbas deposited the checks into her personal bank account. In most instances, she made false entries in the company’s check register to conceal the theft, indicating that the checks had been paid to a vendor used by the company when the checks actually were made payable to her.

Gibbas will have to pay full restitution to the company and has agreed to make a lump-sum payment of more than 50 percent of the stolen amount at or before her sentencing.

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