ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A man already under investigation for stealing over $130,000 from his employer has now been accused of stealing from employee paychecks, according to St. Petersburg police.
An arrest document said Jonathan Longden, 40, worked as a work payroll specialist for a company in 2018 to ensure that employees were paid accurately and on time.
From Sept. 21, 2018, to Nov. 15, 2018, Longden allegedly accessed five employee payroll accounts and change their direct deposit information to his own personal account information five different times, police said.
The arrest report said the defendant received a total of $6,243 from the employees’ paychecks.
“Longden processed manual paychecks for 4 of the affected employees as well as added the missing number of unpaid hours to the 5th affected employee’s next direct deposit check so the employees would receive their anticipated paycheck,” the report said.
According to the document, the employees were hurt by these “deceptive and fraudulent actions” by not getting their paychecks on time and overpaying their 2018 federal, social security, and medicare taxes due to having overstated pay.
A payroll auditing report showed that Longden was the specialist who changed the employees’ information, police said.
However, this did not stop in 2018. Another arrest report said Longden was hired on June 7, 2022, as a work-from-home payroll specialist.
Police said on July 6, 2022, at around 1:28 p.m., the suspect accessed an employee’s payroll account and changed their account information to redirect the direct deposit to his account.
“Subpoena records of Longden’s BB&T account shows the affected employee’s direct deposit paycheck in the amount of $3,908.00 was fraudulently direct deposited into Longden’s BB&T account on 07/25/2022,” the report said.
Around the same time, Longden was accused of allegedly stealing $139,998 from his employer, Engage PEO, over a two-year period. St. Petersburg police said the man allegedly created 94 fraudulent paychecks under the accounts of terminated employees that were deposited into his own accounts.
After being read his rights for the payroll theft arrests, Longden admitted to conducting the fraudulent transactions, the reports said.
He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on additional charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft.