Prosecutor: Police Officer Charged with Theft, Forgery

An 18-year veteran police officer was charged on Monday with theft and forgery related to a rental property he owned in Brielle, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Cory R. Cole, 49, of Brielle, a former Ocean Township police officer, is charged with: third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, and two counts of fourth-degree forgery.

“It is a sad day for the Ocean Township Police Department,” Ocean Township Police Chief Steve Peters said. “We are shocked, embarrassed and angered by this event. The Ocean Township Police Department is a highly professional organization and we will not let the actions of one officer overshadow the great work and dedication by the men and women of this department.”

“We will continue to hold police officers accountable and reiterate the message that no one is above the law,” said Gramiccioni.

The case background …

The charges were filed after an investigation revealed that Cole allegedly entered into a lease with a woman who agreed to rent a property owned by Cole in Brielle. The woman provided Cole with a $4,200 security deposit on Aug. 27, 2019. 

The lease required Cole to maintain the security deposit in a bank account during the term of the lease and assuming she did not damage the property, to return the money to her at the end of the lease. The woman never moved into the residence as Cole kept pushing back the move-in date. 

A review of bank records revealed that Cole deposited the $4,200 into a bank account and that he depleted the funds within days, withdrawing the bulk of it in cash. 

The investigation further revealed that to satisfy the Brielle School District’s residency inquiries with respect to the woman’s children, Cole allegedly provided a forged lease to the school district indicating that the victim had moved into a different property that he owned in Brielle, which was in actuality being rented by someone else. 

If convicted of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, Cole faces a sentence of three to five years in prison. If convicted of forgery, he faces up to 18 months in state prison on each count.  

Cole remains suspended without pay by the Ocean Township Police Department.

Anyone with additional information about this case or if you were a victim of similar activity by Cole, you are urged to contact Detective Sergeant Ryu Washburne of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office