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Jan 28, 2019

Elks Treasurer Caught Stealing Over $100K

Christine Wilbert Toms River ELks

The former treasurer of Toms River Elks Lodge #1875 pled guilty on Friday, Jan. 25 to stealing over $119,000 from the Elks for her own personal use, according to Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.

Christine Wilbert, 46, of Lakehurst, pled guilty to a charge of second-degree theft before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C., in Ocean County Superior Court. Under the plea agreement, the State will recommend that Wilbert be sentenced to five years in New Jersey State Prison, and be required to pay $119,000 in restitution. Wilbert is scheduled to be sentenced May 3, 2019.

“Wilbert was entrusted with managing the lodge’s various bank accounts, including its general charity account that was used to provide donations to both charitable and civic organizations, as well as citizens in need”, stated Prosecutor Billhimer. Wilbert was responsible for issuing checks from the account for that purpose, and for managing the cash deposits that resulted from various fundraising events. The investigation revealed that between April 2013 and June 2016, Gilbert issued approximately 50 checks to herself, frequently recording them in the organization’s accounting software as legitimate charitable payments. Additionally, Wilbert skimmed monies from the cash that she was responsible for depositing in the Elk’s bank account. In total, Wilbert stole $119,010 during that time period.

The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by Detective John Bajcic of the Toms River Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit.