A man from Wall Township swindled his former business partner out of $1.57 million and could spend years behind bars, according to authorities.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linksey announced Monday that 54-year-old Anthony Steward has been arrested and charged with second-degree misconduct by a corporate official and second-degree theft by deception.

The charges are the result of an investigation that launched in May, when the victim reported the alleged thefts, the prosecutor's office said. According to officials, three separate illegal incidents occurred from October 2019 through July 2021. In each, Steward convinced his partner to invest money for one reason and then use it for another, officials said.

He'd steer the funds toward another project, without the victim's knowledge, or use the funds to pay personal credit card bills, the prosecutor's office said. On one occasion, according to the prosecutor's office, Steward convinced the victim to invest $280,000 into purchasing a property that the rightful owner hadn't even agreed to sell.

Steward turned himself in on Friday, the prosecutor's office said. Convictions on the charges he faces are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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