A former Stroudsburg resident has been charged with scamming his ex-wife out of over $95,000 in retirement savings.


Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney have charged Manuel J. Buendia, 68, who currently resides in Miami, Florida, for his role in defrauding his ex-wife by depositing disbursement checks from her Charles Schwab IRA account into his own personal and business checking accounts.


In all, detectives allege that Buendia misappropriated 43 checks totaling $95,838.


Buendia is facing two separate second-degree felony charges of forgery, a third-degree felony charge of theft by unlawful taking, a third-degree felony charge of theft by deception, a third-degree felony charge of receiving stolen property, a third-degree felony charge of criminal use of a communication facility, two separate third-degree felony charges of unlawful use of a computer, and a third-degree felony charge of computer trespass.


According to Detective Mario Orlando’s affidavit, Buendia’s ex-wife Maryanne Buendia stated that the Charles Schwab Rollover Individual Retirement Account was started in 2007 with funds from her 401K account, which she had from her time working at Unilever Cosmetics.


When she lost her job with Unilever in 2007, Maryanna Buendia said that her ex-husband advised her to roll her 401K account into an IRA. Manuel Buendia set up the account for her, though she did note that she did not give him permission to withdraw from the account without her knowledge.


Maryanne Buendia was able to provide copies of the checks written from the Bank of America Commercial Disbursement Account belonging to Charles Schwab which featured what was supposed to be her signature. Maryanne Buendia said that she had not endorsed those checks.


Maryanne Buendia went on to say that her ex-husband had deposited the checks into his personal and business accounts, and that while the couple had separate accounts and that she was aware of them, she did not have access to his accounts.


According to Maryanne Buendia, Manuel Buendia would use the online portfolio he had set up for her to put in withdrawal requests that were set to be mailed to their Stroud Township home. She explained that Manuel Buendia worked from home, and that he would always retrieve their mail and subsequently deposit the checks.


Detectives obtained search warrants and looked into Manuel Buendia’s business and personal checking accounts, which showed that he was the only authorized user for the accounts, and that he was the individual owner of his business, Place Vendome, Inc.


In the affidavit, Orlando noted that from Jan. 10, 2013 through Sept. 12, 2016, Manuel Buendia requested 43 separate withdrawals from Maryanne Buendia’s account, with 35 of those checks totaling $70,688 deposited into his personal checking account, and eight of the checks totaling $25,150 deposited into his business account, “for his own benefit.”


A warrant has been issued for Manuel Buendia’s arrest, and once in custody, he must appear in front of a Magisterial District Judge for a preliminary hearing.