FREEHOLD – An Ocean County woman is facing theft charges following a 10-month investigation that revealed she stole more than $100,000 from the law firm where she was formerly employed as the office manager, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Patricia Vaughn, 62, of Toms River, was arrested and charged Friday with second degree theft following a joint investigation by Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Wall Township Police Department. Vaughn was charged and released on a summons.

In January 2020, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Wall Township Police. The Wall Police had received a theft report from the owner of a law office in Wall Township. It was reported that Vaughn stole funds.

During the investigation, records of various business and personal accounts related to the law practice were reviewed revealing numerous unauthorized transfers from these accounts to the firm’s operating account. Vaughn made these transfers in her capacity as office manager from 2011 through 2019, although she hid them by creating false bank statements. Vaughan then used the additional money from the operating account to give herself unauthorized salary increases and to issue herself extra paychecks totaling approximately $105,552.50 to which she was not entitled.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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