Secretary Charged With Theft Of Trust Funds

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COLONIA — A Colonia woman has been arrested and charged with stealing $270,000 from the attorney trust account at her husband’s law office, where she worked as a secretary, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today.

Patricia Falzone, 54,  of the Colonia section of Woodbridge was arrested and charged on Oct. 7 with theft by failure to make the required disposition of property received.

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She was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail, which was set by Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa in New Brunswick.

According to authorities, Falzone was charged after an investigation by Lt. Daniel DelBagno and Investigator Donald Heck, both of the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, showed that she took the money in various amounts between November 2005 and June 2009 and used the money for personal expenses while she worked for her husband, John Falzone Jr., at his law office in Woodbridge. John Falzone Jr. has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

The investigation also showed that the Falzones repaid the funds to the trust account between October 2009 and December 2009. The trust account is used to hold clients’ funds until the money can be distributed following transactions such as real estate closings and settlements of legal disputes.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation after receiving information about the case in January 2010.

Authorities are asking anyone with information on the case to contact Lt. DelBagno or Investigator Heck at the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-3300.

Authorities note that as is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Patricia Falzone is merely an accusation and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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