Jersey City Recreation Department Who Clerk Inflated Payroll for Relatives and Friends Heading to Prison

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JERSEY CITY, NJ – A Jersey City woman has been convicted of stealing approximately $80,000 from the City of Jersey City where she worked as a payroll clerk for the city’s recreation department.

Angela Rivera, 42, was sentenced to prison today for stealing approximately $80,000 by fraudulently inflating payroll hours for certain relatives and associates.

According to Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin, Rivera, who formerly was a payroll clerk and senior analyst for the Jersey City Department of Recreation, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Militello in Hudson County. Rivera pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2021 to a charge of second-degree theft by unlawful taking. She is required to pay full restitution to the city and is permanently barred from public employment.

“From Dec. 31, 2016 through Feb. 23, 2018, Rivera stole $80,553 by inflating payroll hours for certain former part-time and seasonal employees who are her relatives or personal associates. She altered timekeeping spreadsheets for those employees, causing paychecks to be issued that reflected additional hours the employees did not actually work,” Platkin said. “A number of those paychecks were deposited into Rivera’s personal account after she forged the employees’ signatures to endorse the checks over to her.  Others were deposited into accounts controlled by the employees named on the checks.”

Court records show four relatives and associates of Rivera who allegedly took part in the scheme were charged by summons on Jan. 6, 2020 with theft by unlawful taking (3rd degree) for allegedly depositing paychecks into accounts they controlled that they knew reflected work hours that had been fraudulently inflated by Rivera. On Jan. 27, 2021, the court admitted them into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, subject to payment of full restitution. If those defendants successfully complete PTI, the charges against them will be dismissed.