BRIELLE — An Ocean Township police officer who lives in Brielle has been charged with theft and forgery in connection with a property he owns in the borough.
Corey R. Cole, 49, has been charged with third-degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received, and two counts of fourth-degree Forgery, according to a statement issued by Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni on Tuesday.
The prosecutor said the charges stem from a property that Mr. Cole agreed to lease a woman, whose name was not released. She gave Mr. Cole a $4,200 security deposit on Aug. 27, 2019, according to the statement released by the prosecutor’s office.
When Mr. Cole kept delaying her move-in date, the woman requested the return of her deposit, the statement said. However, an investigation revealed that Mr. Cole had “depleted the funds … withdrawing the bulk of it in cash” shortly after receiving the deposit.
Additionally, Mr. Gramiccioni said the investigation determined that Mr. Cole had provided a forged lease to the Brielle School District to satisfy its residency requirements concerning the children of the prospective tenant. The forgery indicated that she had moved into another Brielle property that he was already renting to a different tenant.
If convicted of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received, Mr. Cole faces a sentence of three to five years in prison. If convicted of Forgery, he faces up to 18 months in state prison on each count.
Mr. Cole remains suspended without pay by the Ocean Township Police Department whose chief, Steve Peters said, “We are shocked, embarrassed and angered by this event. The Ocean Township Police Department is a highly professional organization and we will not let the actions of one officer overshadow the great work and dedication by the men and women of this department.”
Mr. Gramiccioni said, “We will continue to hold police officers accountable and reiterate the message that no one is above the law.”
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