A Manchester fire captain is accused of siphoning more than $30,000 from a township volunteer fire company during the three years he served as its Acting Treasurer.

Vincent F. Conte, 46, was charged August 12 regarding the misappropriation of funds from Manchester Volunteer Fire Company Number 1, according to township police.

Conte is charged with a second-degree count of official misconduct, with a possible prison term of five to 10 years if convicted at trial, and two third-degree counts of theft in excess of $30,000, each of which can mean sentences of three to five years if convicted. He was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, with bail set at $75,000.

Conte allegedly dipped into its general account repeatedly between 2012 and the time of his departure in 2015.

An investigation, by Manchester PD Detective Robert Maccaquano and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Economic Crimes Unit, began as result of a review of the fire company's finances after Conte separated.

According to police, company personnel spotted accounting discrepancies and notified authorities. Investigators claim that Conte wrote an undisclosed number of checks, either to himself, or entering "cash" in the payee line, during his term.

The fire company now requires all checks to contain two signatures, police said.

Criminal charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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