Bookkeeper admits stealing $1.7M in check fraud scheme

A bookkeeper for a northern New Jersey company has admitted stealing $1.7 million from the firm by writing herself fraudulent company checks.

Tammy Martinez pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank fraud. The 46-year-old South Amboy woman now faces up to 30 years in prison when she's sentenced Feb. 11.

Martinez was an office manager and bookkeeper for a Newark-based firm.

Starting in January 2014, federal prosecutors say she used her position to issue fraudulent company checks made payable to herself or cash and forged the signature of her manager on the checks. Martinez then converted the checks into cash at bank branches in New Jersey.