“We’re close to a deal,” said Jay McCann, Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor, noting that he has been negotiating a plea agreement with Arlene Marchese and Karen Wright.
The parties were due to meet before Superior Court Judge Gretta Goodwin-Brown, but the proceeding was rescheduled, McCann said. The meeting was rescheduled for Aug. 6.
Marchese and Wright were each charged with one count of theft and one count of forgery. The woman allegedly forged employer Dominick Lembo’s signature on insurance checks for more than a dozen years. According to court documents, the women diverted nearly $300,000 into their personal bank accounts during that time. The woman performed clerical work for Lembo.
Lembo wants the women to repay him what he is owed in installments.
McCann said that it is not uncommon for someone to commit forgery over a number of years as authorities claim Marchese and Wright allegedly did.
“It depends on the structuring of the bookkeeping in the office a lot of times,” McCann said. “If one person is in charge of too many aspects of the bookkeeping procedures, then its possible for employee theft to happen over a long period of time.”
Marchese was a Democratic candidate for the 2nd Ward council seat in 2011 but was replaced on the ticket by Wayne Democratic Chairman Ray Egatz for unspecified reasons. She is the daughter in law of Gary Marchese, candidate for the 1st Ward council seat.
The women face up to 10 years in state prison if convicted of the charges.