A former director of administration with the Affordable Housing Alliance in Neptune has pleaded guilty to stealing over $400,000 from the business, said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Debra Agresti, 57, of Long Branch, pleaded guilty to second degree theft in front of Presiding Criminal Judge David F. Bauman on Friday, Jan.17. Agresti admitted that she made unauthorized purchases of numerous gift cards to pay for personal expenses and to obtain various good and services from multiple vendors.
An investigation revealed that between August of 2012 and March 2019, Agresti purchased gift cards with the agency’s credit card. In order to conceal her misuse of the credit card, Agresti intercepted the monthly credit card statements and created false invoices that matched the amounts she spent on the gift cards, and altered the invoices to reflect the purchase of ordinary office supplies.
It was determined that the amount stolen by the defendant totaled $449,014.22. Agresti acted as the lone conspirator in the scheme.
Agresti was originally hired by the Affordable Housing Alliance as an administrative assistant in 2007, then eventually was promoted to director of administration.
Agresti faces up to five years in New Jersey state prison when she returns before Judge Bauman for sentencing on March 27.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer.
Agresti is represented by Matthew Jordan of Neptune.