How do you get paid for a job you never accepted, in a different state? Someone tell me cause I could use that kind of money!

 Palatine man accused of collecting $470,000 in pay, benefits from New Jersey firm for job he never took

By Ray Quintanilla and Liam Ford

Tribune reporters

8:50 PM CST, January 17, 2008

 

A Palatine man is awaiting extradition to New Jersey after he was arrested on charges that he collected about $470,000 in pay and benefits for a job he was offered but never accepted, authorities said Thursday.

Anthony Armatys, 34, of the 200 block of North Flake Drive was charged with theft by deception for collecting the money between late 2002 and early 2007 from Avaya Inc., a business communications firm based in Basking Ridge, N.J., said Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest.

Armatys was arrested Wednesday at his home by Palatine and New Jersey police on a warrant issued by a Somerset County judge, who set bail at $50,000, authorities said.

Forrest said that Armatys applied for a position at Avaya in 2002 and was offered a job, which he never accepted.

In February 2007, Avaya auditors discovered that a systems error had deposited payroll checks into an account held by Armatys. Company officials alerted Somerset County investigators and detectives from the Bernards Township Police Department in New Jersey, Forrest said.

“[Avaya] was paying him and set up his benefits,” Forrest said.

In addition to a salary for a job he never held, Armatys also withdrew $1,900 from a retirement account set up for him, Forrest said.

Investigators have a tape of a telephone call during which Armatys allegedly identified himself as an Avaya employee to a Fidelity Investments employee while requesting that retirement-fund money be transferred his savings account, Forrest said.

FBI agents assisted in the 11-month investigation, Forrest said.

Armatys moved from Texas with his wife and two sons to Palatine about two years ago, neighbors said. They described the family as friendly.

Neighbors said Armatys appeared to leave for work around 7:45 a.m. most mornings and would wave to them as he left.

“There wasn’t anything that seemed out of the ordinary,” said neighbor Pat Thoss, who has lived on the block since the 1960s. “They all seem like very nice people.”

Court records suggest that Armatys and his wife filed for bankruptcy in 2004 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Austin, Texas.

Armatys and his wife reported almost $400,000 in debt in early 2004, including more than $250,000 in home loans, according to court filings.

Documents filed in the bankruptcy say Armatys worked for a technology consulting firm and previously had worked for the U.S. branch of an international banking company. In the bankruptcy filings, he reported about $450,000 in income from 2001 through 2004, including his bank salary and from sources listed in records as “side jobs.”

Avaya has 18,000 employees worldwide and about 200 in Illinois, with offices in Chicago and Lisle.

The company provides software programs for telephone and other communications systems, spokeswoman Lynn Newman said. It also creates software for phone banks and call centers, said Newman, who declined to comment on the case against Armatys.

rquintanilla@tribune.com

lford@tribune.com

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