Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a man from Florida was sentenced to serve 8 years in a New Jersey state prison and was ordered to pay $180,867 in restitution to his victims.
Officials say Robert Perniola, 60, formerly of Manalapan, now living in Pompano Beach, Florida, was sentence today by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. to a prison term of 8 years.
In addition, the Judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $180,867. The restitution included approximately $90,000 for mortgage payments that the defendant stole, and which caused the victims to default on their mortgage. The additional $90,000 was for interest costs, fees and a balloon payment which was caused by defendant’s criminal conduct.
According to authorities, Perniola was sentenced in accordance with a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christine D’Elia. Perniola pleaded guilty, on May 23, 2018, to second degree theft by deception.
The defendant was arrested and charged following an investigation by Detective Kevin Schroeck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation determined that Perniola, between January 13, 2012 and February 28, 2014, obtained funds from a Sayreville couple by falsely representing himself as someone that was assisting them in refinancing their mortgage. After the victims sent money to Perniola, on a monthly basis to pay down their mortgage, he funneled the money into his personal accounts.