• Michelle Dawn Mooney

Little Egg couple pleads guilty to theft of more than $1.4M from Sandy victims

An Ocean County couple admitted to stealing more than $1.4 million from Superstorm Sandy victims that they spent on lavish items and gambled away at Atlantic City casinos. Jeffrey Colmyer, 41, and Tiffany Cimino, 33, who lived together in Little Egg Harbor, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received before Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan in Ocean County, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Colmyer be sentenced to seven years in prison. Probation will be recommended for Cimino. Colmyer also admitted to second-degree money laundering on behalf the couple’s home improvement contracting companies, Rayne Construction Management Services LLC and Colmyer & Sons LLC. They are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 7. The pair also must pay $695,402 in restitution to victims and $655,243 to the state of New Jersey. Colmyer also owes $56,472 in back taxes. “Colmyer and Cimino heartlessly preyed on Sandy victims whose homes had been destroyed, stealing the relief funds that were the lifeline these victims needed to rebuild in the aftermath of the historic storm,” Grewal said. “By sending Colmyer to prison, we deliver a strong deterrent message that anyone willing to sink so low as to steal disaster relief money from victims will face a stern reckoning.” The stolen funds were used to pay personal expenses, including a $17,000 diamond ring Cimino purchased. Colmyer gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars at Atlantic City casinos, Grewal said. “The depth of greed and ruthless opportunism exhibited by this couple is hard to fathom,” said Director Veronica Allende, of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend all of the federal, state and local partners who worked with us to ensure that this couple will face justice for their crimes, which caused more grief and hardship for victims who were among those hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.” The couple was arrested on Oct. 11, 2016, in a joint investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and the New Jersey Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation.

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