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Ewing Property Manager Charged with Embezzling, Laundering Stolen Funds

By kbm0423 on
Mercer County

A Mercer County grand jury recently returned a 12-count indictment charging a 64-year old property manager with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from an apartment complex in Hamilton Township, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the indictment, returned April 1, charges Nicolas DePaola, 64, of Ewing, with financial facilitation of criminal activity, theft by unlawful taking, misapplication of entrusted property, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, theft by unlawful taking, filing a fraudulent tax return, failure to pay income tax and theft by failure to make required disposition of property received.

Prosecutor Onofri said that DePaola is charged with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from his former client, Hamilton Park CO-OP of Arena Drive, from 2014 through 2018. 

According to Prosecutor Onofri, DePaola acted as the property manager for the CO-OP after taking over for his father, Richard DePaola of R.A. DePaola, Inc. 

According to the CO-OP's tax documents, which DePaola was responsible for completing, reported management fees paid by the CO-OP to the defendant for 2014 through 2016 ranged from approximately $64,000-$79,000 per year.

From 2014 through 2018, financial records reveal Nicholas DePaola stole approximately $925,403 directly from the CO-OP in his capacity as the property manager through unauthorized checks and transfers from the victim's operating bank account.

Furthermore, the defendant used the CO-OP's funds to pay his American Express credit card bills in the amount of $224,381 in the same timeframe. 

In total, DePaola was charged with laundering approximately $1,149,784. He also faces related tax charges.

According to Prosecutor Onofri, DePaola's criminal acts were initially uncovered when a CO-OP tenant mistakenly received a letter from Hamilton Township notifying the recipient that the property was going to be sold within days at a tax sale because the CO-OP owed back taxes and sewer fees to Hamilton Township. 

The outstanding bill with fees, penalties and interest totaled $372,840.39. The matter was brought to the attention of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Economic Crime Unit (ECU) in September 2019, and an investigation ensued.

Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.