Illinois Man Arrested Over $469K Payroll Error

A $469,000 payroll error has earned an Illinois man a date with police.

Anthony Armatys of Palatine, Ill., was arrested Wednesday on theft charges after allegedly receiving electronic payroll bank deposits from a New Jersey company he never worked for, authorities said.

Officials at Avaya Inc., a telecommunications provider located in Basking Ridge, discovered checks had been mistakenly direct deposited into his account for nearly five years, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

Armatys, 34, had accepted a position with Avaya years ago, authorities said, but he rescinded the acceptance before he ever started working. However, a system error resulted in checks being deposited into Armatys' bank account from the fall of 2002 to March of 2007, when the company discovered the error, officials said.

During that time, Armatys collected more than $469,000 in pay and even withdrew approximately $1,900 from his company retirement account administered by Fidelity Investments, authorities said.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest said it took investigators 11 months to do a thorough investigation, which resulted in the time gap between the discovery of the error and Armatys' arrest.

"The investigation had to be done, records had to be obtained, the list goes on," he said.

Armatys, who was awaiting extradition to New Jersey on Wednesday, was charged with one count of theft by deception; his bail was set at $50,000.

Forrest did not know when Armatys would be extradited, if he had made bail or if he had retained a lawyer. Authorities in Illinois did not immediately return calls seeking comment and there was no phone listing for Armatys in Palatine.

Avaya spokeswoman Deb Kline said the company had no comment on the matter.

Avaya has 18,000 employees globally and 1,800 in New Jersey, she said.