FREEHOLD – An 18-year veteran Ocean Township police officer has been charged Monday with theft and forgery related to a rental property he owned in Brielle, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Cory R. Cole, 49, of Brielle, is charged with third-degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received, and two counts of fourth-degree Forgery.
“We will continue to hold police officers accountable and reiterate the message that no one is above the law,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.
The charges were filed after an investigation revealed that Cole entered into a lease with a woman who agreed to rent a property owned by Cole in Brielle. The woman provided Cole with a $4,200.00 security deposit on August 27, 2019. The lease required Cole to maintain the security deposit in a bank account during the term of the lease, and assuming she did not damage the property, to return the money to her at the end of the lease. The woman never moved into the residence as Cole kept pushing back the move-in date. A review of bank records revealed that Cole deposited the $4,200.00 into a bank account, and that he depleted the funds within days, withdrawing the bulk of it in cash. The investigation further revealed that to satisfy the Brielle School District’s residency inquiries with respect to the woman’s children, Cole uttered a forged lease to the school district indicating that the victim had moved into a different property that he owned in Brielle, which was in actuality being rented by someone else.
“It is a sad day for the Ocean Township Police Department. 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,” said Ocean Township Police Chief Steve Peters.
If convicted of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received, 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.
Cole remains suspended without pay by the Ocean Township Police Department.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau.
Anyone with additional information about this case or if you were a victim of similar activity by Cole, you are urged to contact Detective Sergeant Ryu Washburne of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.