The ex-treasurer of the Mine Hill NJ Fire Department has pleaded guilty to embezzling $330,000.00 from the department.
Appearing in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ, Mine Hill resident Lisa Ayers admitted that she stole the money from January 2007 through February 2013 and used it for personal reasons, including paying off both her mortgage and her family’s car loans.
Ms. Ayers’ thefts included 53 checks totaling nearly $80,000.00, which she used to make payments on the mortgage loan for her home. Ms. Ayers also used 58 checks totaling nearly $24,000.00 to make payments on her family’s motor vehicle loans.
Prior to trial, Ms. Ayers reached a plea agreement with the NJ Attorney General’s Office. The agreement calls for Ms. Ayers to pay nearly $230,000.00 in restitution. Ms. Ayers will also forfeit to the state the two (2) vehicles she had purchased with the stolen money: a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer and a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado. Additionally, Ms. Ayers’ plea deal will settle a pending civil lawsuit by the Attorney General Office.
In court, Ms. Ayers broke down in tears when admitting that she had stolen the money.
As a result of her plea deal, Ms. Ayers will be sentenced to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison. Had Ms. Ayers elected to go to trial, she could have faced a longer prison sentence. In New Jersey, theft by deception is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. The statute stipulates that a person commits second degree theft by deception if the property obtained through deceit has a value greater than $75,000.00. Second degree theft by deception can be punishable by a term of imprisonment ten (10) years in state prison.
To learn more, read the NJ.com article entitled “Mine Hill Woman Admits Embezzling $330K from Fire Department to Pay Her Mortgage, Car Loans.“