⚫ Funds reported stolen from school PTAs, vendors

⚫ Stolen funds also reported from football, cheer organization

⚫ Dad is active Board of Education member in town

OLD BRIDGE — A husband and wife active in their children’s school community have now been accused of stealing thousands from the organizations they have been affiliated with.

Leonardo Marchetta, an active and elected member of the Old Bridge Board of Education, was charged with seven counts of bad checks, two counts of theft, theft by deception, and conspiracy.

Leonardo and Dana Marchetta accused of ripping off Old Bridge school, sports groups (Old Bridge Schools, Dana Marchetta facebook, Google Maps, Canva)
(Dana Marchetta via Facebook)

His wife, Dana Marchetta, was charged with seven counts of forged writing, four counts of bad checks, three counts of theft by deception and two counts of theft.

The 41-year-old woman also faced theft by failure to do so, forgery by altering, public records fraud, falsifying records, money laundering, and conspiracy.

attachment-Salk Middle School (Google Maps, Canva)

Old Bridge police said over the past few years, Dana Marchetta has been actively involved in the PTA organizations for Grissom Elementary School and Salk Middle School.

She has also volunteered with the privately run Old Bridge SWS Rebels Football and Cheer Program.

attachment-Old Bridge schools (Google Maps)

Dana Marchetta has been accused of stealing $41,067.90 from the Grissom PTA and its associated vendors, as well as $12,417.16 from the Rebels sports organization.

Police said she altered checks with falsified signatures and “modified” an Old Bridge Police Department Incident Report, which she then submitted to the Salk Middle School PTA Board.

attachment-Old Bridge stats (Google Maps)

In September, the Grissom Elementary School PTA removed a member from office over financial issues, MyCentralJersey.com reported.

The couple is accused of conspiring to benefit from the stolen funds, as police said some of the stolen money was deposited into Leonardo Marchetta’s personal accounts.

Leonardo Marchetta (Old Bridge Board of Ed member (Old Bridge Schools via Youtube)
Leonardo Marchetta (Old Bridge Board of Ed member (Old Bridge Schools via Youtube)

The 42-year-old Marchetta was elected to a full board term in 2021 after running on the “Putting Kids First” ticket.

“Our residents and parents deserve to know and understand where and how their taxes are spent,” Marchetta previously told CentralJersey.com while campaigning for his election.

attachment-Old Bridge football field (Google Maps)

Emails to the Old Bridge school board president and vice president were not immediately returned on Wednesday, as to whether the board would address the charges at its next meeting on April 16.

Old Bridge School Superintendent David Cittadino did issue a statement regarding the stolen PTA funds.

"Regrettably, the school district was notified of being a named victim in this matter via targeted fraudulent check submissions for goods and services. We trust in the judicial process to address this matter appropriately, and we look forward to swiftly moving past this incident, allowing our district and community to focus on our primary mission of serving children," Cittadino said in a response to both MyCentralJersey.com and NJ 101.5.

​The youth football and cheer organization that the Marchettas have been accused of stealing from also issued a statement.

“This is a very unfortunate situation. The Old Bridge Rebels Football and Cheer program has been serving our youth in our community for over 63 years with the help of hundreds of volunteers,"Old Bridge SWS Rebels Youth Football & Cheer President Chino Muniz said in an email to New Jersey 101.5.

He continued "Our organization will continue to focus on what’s most important to all the children of Old Bridge and that’s to provide a safe and fun place to come play a sport they love.”

The program has over 400 children enrolled in spring flag football and over 300 kids in its fall football and cheer league.

“We will continue to keep our checks and balances in place,” Muniz added, so that “something like this will not happen again in the future.”

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