FULL OWNERSHIP – A former Ocean Township police officer has pleaded guilty to theft and forgery charges relating to properties he bought and rented in Brielle, Monmouth County Acting District Attorney Lori Linskey announced.
Cory R. Cole, 51, of Brielle, pleaded guilty Monday, March 21, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley to three counts of third-degree larceny and one count of forgery in the fourth degree. Under the terms of the plea deal, Cole faces 180 days probation at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility; however, the state will recommend non-custodial probation if Cole pays $8,400 in restitution to two separate victims before the sentencing date. No contact with the victim is also part of the agreed agreement.
Cole was charged Friday, June 11, 2021 with a nine-count indictment including one count of second-degree robbery by deception, two counts of 3rd degree of theft by failure to make required disposition of goods received, three counts of 4and degree of infringement, and three counts of 4and degree Pronounce a forged instrument.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Attorney’s Office found that Cole, who buys, flips and rents out real estate, forged a letter from his former matrimonial attorney in order to falsely establish a judgment she had against him for unpaid attorney’s fees had been satisfied, and Cole submitted this letter to enable his purchase of property on Borrie Avenue in Brielle. Cole would not have been unable to secure the $425,000 loan to purchase the property if the lender knew the judgment against Cole was pending.
Further investigation revealed that Cole illegally withheld $4,200 security deposits from tenants of two separate properties in Brielle. He tried to justify keeping his tenants’ security deposit on Fisk Avenue by claiming they owed money in unpaid utility bills on the property and providing them with a bogus bill from New Jersey Natural Gas that stated mistakenly that they had an outstanding balance. The other tenant, who signed a lease to rent the Borrie Avenue property, was never even able to move into the property.
A review of bank statements revealed that Cole deposited his check for $4,200 into a bank account and within days withdrew most of it in cash. The investigation further revealed that to satisfy the Brielle School District’s residency requests for the woman’s children, Cole issued a forged lease to the school district stating that the victim had moved into another property he owned in Brielle, who was actually rented by someone else.
Cole resigned from his job with the Ocean Township Police Department in the wake of the investigation, after the first set of criminal charges were filed in January 2020.
Cole is expected to be sentenced before Judge Oxley on August 12, 2022.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Falco, director of the Bureau’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit.
Cole is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq.
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