Middlesex Borough Mayor Indicted on Allegedly Stealing $190K, Laundered Funds Through Charity

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that Middlesex Borough Mayor Ronald J. DiMura was indicted today on charges of theft and official misconduct for allegedly stealing approximately $190,000 from various local political campaigns and using a local charity he runs to launder the money.

Officials say DiMura, 63, whose term as mayor ends at the end of this year, was indicted today by a state grand jury as the result of an ongoing investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The investigation began with a referral from the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

During 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 indictment alleges that between January 2013 and June 2019, DiMura 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 runs. During the period in question, the nonprofit charity paid out only a small fraction of the funds for charitable purposes. The remainder of the funds were allegedly funneled from the bank account of the charity to DiMura’s personal bank account or a business account that DiMura controlled.

The indictment further alleges 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. It is alleged that, in reality, DiMura did not make any investments with the money. Instead, he allegedly 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.

DiMura is charged with official misconduct and theft for allegedly using his position as mayor to solicit $10,000 in donations to the local charity from a developer doing business with Middlesex Borough, without disclosing that he intended to use the money for his personal benefit. He is charged with a second count of official misconduct for allegedly filing false or incomplete Local Government Ethics Law Financial Disclosure Statements that failed to disclose the funds he received from the charity.

“As mayor and as a local party leader, DiMura was trusted in Middlesex Borough,’’ said Attorney General Grewal. “But DiMura repeatedly betrayed that trust, we allege, by misappropriating funds, abusing his office, and using a charity to hide his actions. We are determined to hold officials accountable if they break the law and corruptly exploit their public positions for personal gain.”

“Through our investigations and prosecutions, OPIA works to ensure that government leaders act with integrity in their official actions as well as their participation in the political process. This is critical to maintaining good government and public trust,’’ said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “We allege that Mayor DiMura abused both his office and his role as a local party leader.”

Deputy Attorney General Mallory Shanahan presented the case to the state grand jury for the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, with assistance from Law Clerk Adam Gerken, under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Peter Lee, who is OPIA Deputy Chief, and Assistant Attorney General Anthony Picione, Counsel to the OPIA Director.

DiMura is charged with the following criminal offenses in a nine-count state grand jury indictment handed up today in Superior Court:

  1. Theft by Deception (2nd degree)
  2. Misapplication of Entrusted Property (2nd degree)
  3. Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity (Money Laundering) (2nd degree)
  4. Official Misconduct (2nd degree)
  5. Theft by Deception (3rd degree)
  6. Theft by Deception (2nd degree)
  7. Official Misconduct (2nd degree)
  8. Pattern of Official Misconduct (2nd degree)
  9. Tampering with Public Records (3rd degree)

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charges of official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct carry a five-year period of parole ineligibility, and the second-degree money laundering charge carries an enhanced fine of up to $500,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The charge of tampering with public records carries a two-year period of parole ineligibility.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Middlesex County, where the defendant will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment.