The former treasurer of Toms River Elks Lodge #1875 will spend years in jail following a sentence handed down by an Ocean County judge on Friday after she admitted to theft charges.
Christine Wilbert, 46, of Lakehurst, was sentenced to five years in New Jersey State Prison and ordered to pay restitution of $119,010.59 by Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski. Wilbert misappropriated in excess of $119,000.00 from the Toms River Elks between April 2013 and June 2016, prosecutors said.
Wilbert was responsible for issuing checks from the Toms River Elks account and managing the cash deposits received from various fundraising events. An investigation by Toms River Police Detective John Bajcic revealed that during the time period covered by the case, Wilbert 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 accounts.
“I hope Judge Gizinski’s sentence of State Prison sends a clear message that thefts of this kind will not be tolerated,” Ocean County Prosecutor Billhimer said in a statement. “Stealing money from the Elks Lodge is betrayal of trust afforded to Ms. Wilbert by all Elks Lodge members. I am thankful for the efforts of Detective Bajcic and Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Christopher Heisler for bringing Ms. Wilbert to justice.”