For five years, a New Jersey company has been depositing thousands of dollars in paychecks to a Palatine man's bank account.
During that time, 34-year-old Anthony Armatys collected about $470,000, police say.
The catch? Armatys never worked for Avaya, a communications company based in Basking Ridge, N.J.
Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, Armatys was arrested at his home on Flake Drive and charged with one count of theft by deception for knowingly accepting paychecks for a job he never had.
Authorities said the deception dates back to 2002, when Armatys was offered a position with Avaya, which he accepted. But he backed out before actually starting the job, said Wayne Forrest, the Somerset County prosecutor in New Jersey.
Wednesday's arrest came after an 11-month investigation by New Jersey detectives.
It started when Avaya auditors discovered the payroll checks being deposited into Armatys' account as part of a system error.
New Jersey authorities said their probe also found that Armatys had withdrawn about $2,000 from an employee retirement savings account to which Avaya had contributed.
Authorities said Armatys claimed to be an Avaya employee when he called Fidelity Investments, which administered the fund, to set up the transfer of the money into his personal account.
"I've been in this business now over 30 years and I don't recall a case with facts like this," said Forrest. "This is highly unusual."
Bail was set at $50,000 and Armatys is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
Palatine police would not discuss the case.
A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Tony Armatys at the Flake Drive address said the family had "no comment at all."