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Former dealership employee accused of stealing $1.3 million

A former employee of Pine Belt Nissan of Toms River has been charged with money laundering and theft, with prosecutors alleging he stole more than $1.3 million.

Martin D’Amato, 37, worked in an electronic advertising role for the northern NJ store. He allegedly charged the dealership to promote contracts to shell companies he created within an elaborate scheme, a news release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Following the funds were used in the shell accounts he owned, D’Amato allegedly used the amount of money for personal use.

The plot was found after an interior review of charge card budgets. The dealership contacted the prosecutor’s office in October 2021 concerning the findings.

D’Amato was arrested Monday by detectives in the office’s Economic Crime Squad. He could be being held at Ocean County Jail in Toms River while awaiting a detention hearing.

Pine Belt Nissan in Toms River didn’t immediately react to Automotive News‘ obtain comment.

Nj.com previously reported with this story.

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