ASBURY PARK — An employee of the company that owns the Asbury Hotel and Asbury Lanes has been charged with stealing nearly half a million dollars from his employer.

Prosecutors said Larry Dembrun Jr.’s thievery managed to fly under the radar for nearly three years before he was caught in June by an internal audit.

Investigators said this was how the 40-year-old Montclair resident ripped off the Salt Hotels company to the tune of $486,882:

  • He wrote numerous checks from Asbury Hotel’s operating account in order to pay $159,898 toward his personal American Express bills.
  • Over time, he withdrew $165,144 in cash from the operating account and then deposited it into his personal checking account.
  • He issued unauthorized payroll checks to himself totaling $12,603.
  • He made unauthorized cash withdrawals totaling $51,150 from the Asbury Lanes expense account.
  • He pocketed $6,791 in cash that should have been deposited in a company account.
  • And he issued unauthorized bonus and incentive checks totaling $6,791 to hotel staff.

Dembrun was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree theft.

His attorney declined to comment for this story on Wednesday.

Salt Hotels also operates the Asbury Ocean Club.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the company that operates the hotels.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.