Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief James Parker of the South Plainfield Police Department announced today that a man from Metuchen has been arrested and charged with theft by deception and impersonation for soliciting donations in excess of $60,000 for his own personal gain.
Officials say Anthony Moats, 55, of Metuchen, was arrested and charged yesterday with one count of impersonation in the second degree, five counts of theft by deception in the third degree, and one count of impersonation of a law enforcement officer in the fourth degree for soliciting donations from local businesses on behalf of various nonprofits and government agencies including police, veteran and firefighter foundations, as well as other organizations. Moats then used the fraudulently obtained monies for his own benefit which included paying his rent and utility bills.
“Unfortunately, the crime of donation fraud is quite widespread and prevalent throughout our community. The criminals involved in these schemes selfishly exploit the benevolence and generosity of others who seek to do good. We urge everyone to be wary of unexpected solicitations.” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.
Police arrested Moats yesterday in Edison by members of the South Plainfield Police Department, the Edison Police Department, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office while he was picking up an alleged donation.
Officials say he was charged following an investigation by Detective Christopher Blath of the South Plainfield Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
During the investigation it was determined that between May 2017, and February 2019, Moats posed as a representative of various agencies and solicited funds, in the amount of approximately $63,000, from victims throughout the state, and in Middlesex County in the towns of, Carteret, East Brunswick, Edison, Iselin, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and South Brunswick. Moats then utilized the obtained monies for his own personal benefit.
“Anyone seeking to make a donation to an organization should contact the organization directly so that the funds make it into the proper hands and go to good use. Furthermore, when receiving a solicitation on behalf of a law enforcement based organization, we further suggest calling the local police department prior to donating in order to verify that the solicitation is legitimate.” Prosecutor Carey
According to authorities, Moats is scheduled for his initial court appearance today in Middlesex County Superior Court.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Blath at (908) 226-7664 or Detective Berman at (732) 745-4328.
As is the case with all criminal investigations, the charges against Moats are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.