A former executive with an East Orange NJ non-profit development agency reportedly pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $400,000 from a low-income housing project.
The 64-year-old defendant, who resides in North Brunswick, was in charge of the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation. She was accused of stealing funds earmarked for a housing project over a five-year period. The housing project was known as the Princeton Estates Phase II Project.
Although the housing was ultimately built, private investors had to come up with additional funds because of the alleged embezzlement.
According to Essex County prosecutors, the defendant used the stolen funds to finance a “lavish lifestyle.” The defendant allegedly refurnished her old residence in Orange, New Jersey. She also allegedly purchased expensive jewelry and paid for vacations.
The defendant was arrested after an investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.
After being arrested, the defendant was charged with theft under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a.
Prosecutors offered the defendant a plea deal, which she accepted. The plea agreement calls for the defendant to serve 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
A sentencing hearing in Essex County Superior Court in Newark is scheduled for January 23, 2015.
For additional information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Former Head of East Orange Non-Profit Admits Stealing $380K from Low-Income Housing Project.”