FREEHOLD – An Ocean County woman has been criminally charged with stealing nearly $200,000 from her Wall Township-based employer, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Tuesday.

Jessica L. Schott, 44, of Point Pleasant is charged with second-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering.

An investigation by the MCPO Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau was initiated earlier this year, following receipt of a tip by a representative with the Wall-based company that used to employ Schott.

A review of the company’s financial records revealed that Schott was responsible for making unauthorized debit-card purchases and ATM withdrawals from the company bank account, as well as collecting unauthorized additional paychecks, expense checks, and overtime, in some cases using documents featuring forged signatures. Schott allegedly used the stolen funds, approximately $195,320 in all, to cover personal expenses.

Schott was served the charges against her via summons earlier this week, pending future proceedings in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Information about Schott’s legal representation was not immediately available.

Anyone with further information about Schott’s activities is being asked to contact MCPO Detective Michael Acquaviva at 800-533-7443.

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.