Former Middlesex Mayor Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $75K From Local Campaigns
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that former Middlesex Borough Mayor Ronald J. DiMura pleaded guilty to a charge that he stole more than $75,000 from various local political campaigns.
DiMura, 64, whose term as mayor ended in December 2019, pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca in Middlesex County.
Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that DiMura be sentenced to seven years in state prison. He will permanently be barred from public office and employment in New Jersey must pay restitution in the amount of $83,372, and must forfeit the remainder of the funds he stole. Sentencing for DiMura is scheduled for January 15, 2021.
“DiMura exploited his position as mayor and his role as a local party leader for his personal gain, betraying borough residents and party members who placed their trust in him,” Attorney General Grewal said.
“DiMura’s thefts were all the more egregious because he used a local charity to hide his actions,” OPIA Director Thomas Eicher said. “With this guilty plea, calling for a substantial 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.”
Over the past seven years, DiMura served as treasurer for the Middlesex Borough Democratic Campaign Committee as well as a number of campaigns for candidates seeking local office in Middlesex Borough.
The OPIA investigation revealed that between January 2013 and June 2019, he used his position as treasurer for the campaigns and the party campaign committee to steal approximately $190,000 by making purported donations to a local charitable organization that he ran.
During the period in question, the nonprofit charity paid out only a small fraction of the funds for charitable purposes. It was determined that the remainder of the funds were funneled from the bank account of the charity to DiMura’s personal bank account or a business account that DiMura controlled.
In addition, the investigation revealed that DiMura stole over $75,000 from various individual investors by creating the false impression that they were loaning him funds that he would invest on their behalf and that would generate large interest payments for them.
In reality, DiMura did not make any investments with the money. Instead, he deposited the funds into his personal bank account or the business account he controlled.
He used some funds to pay back the investors, but most of them did not receive any of the promised interest and are owed substantial amounts of their principal.
Finally, DiMura used his position as mayor to solicit $10,000 in donations to the 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.
OPIA has a toll-free Tipline 1-844-OPIA-TIPS for the public to report corruption.
The AG’s Office has an Anti-Corruption Reward Program that offers a reward of up to $25,000 for tips leading to a conviction for a crime involving public corruption. Information is posted on their website.