FREEHOLD – A Wall Township resident has been arrested and charged with swindling his former business partner out of approximately $1.57 million, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.
Anthony Steward, 54, is charged with second-degree Misconduct by a Corporate Official and second-degree Theft by Deception.
The charges were the result of an investigation by members of the Prosecutor’s Office that was initiated in May, when the victim reported the thefts, which took place via three separate incidents occurring from October 2019 through July 2021. In each case, Steward would convince the victim to make payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and investments, through which he would purportedly purchase or renovate properties in New York and New Jersey.
Steward would allegedly tell the victim that the funds were being used on one investment project, only to steer part of the cash toward another, without the victim’s knowledge or agreement. He also allegedly used some of the stolen funds to pay personal credit card bills. On one occasion, the investigation revealed, Steward convinced the victim to invest $280,000 into purchasing a property despite the fact that the rightful owner had never agreed to sell.
Steward turned himself in to authorities without incident on Friday and was released on a summons pending the adjudication of the case.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos. Steward is being represented by Thomas Huth, Esq., based in Red Bank.
Convictions on these charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.
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.