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Former NJ mayor gets 7 years for stealing $75,000 in campaign money

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 15:38:54-05

MIDDLESEX, N.J. — A former New Jersey mayor will spend seven years in prison for stealing over $75,000 in various local political campaign funds, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Tuesday.

Ronald DiMura, the former mayor of Middlesex, pleaded guilty in August to theft by deception charges. DiMura served as mayor from 2015 to 2019. In addition to his prison sentence, he's been permanently banned from running for public office and gaining public employment in New Jersey, as well as paying $83,372 in restitution and forfeiting $163,582.

DiMura served as treasurer for Middlesex County's Democratic Campaign Committee in addition to running for office. An investigation revealed that between 2013 and mid-2019, he used his position as treasurer for various campaigns and the party to steal around $190,000 by what the report calls "making purported donations to a local charitable organization that he ran." During this period, the charity paid out only a small portion of the funds for charitable purposes, the remainder going straight to both personal and business accounts of DiMura.

“DiMura exploited his role as a local party leader for his personal gain, betraying party members who placed their trust in him,” said Grewal. “I formed the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability to ensure, among other things, that public officials are held accountable if they abuse their power. This prison sentence reflects our commitment to that mission.”

The investigation also revealed that DiMura stole $75,000 from various individual investors by creating a false impression that they were loaning him money he would invest on their behalf and eventually generate large interest payment. In reality, he deposited that money into his own accounts.

Finally, DiMura used his position as mayor to solicit $10,000 in donations to a local charity from a developer doing business with the borough without disclosing that he intended to use the money for his personal benefit. He filed false or incomplete Local Government Ethics Law Financial Disclosure Statements that failed to disclose the funds he received from the charity.

“DiMura’s thefts were all the more egregious because he used a local charity to hide his actions,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “With this prison sentence, we send a strong message that we expect honesty and integrity from our public officials in New Jersey, and those who act corruptly will face serious consequences.”