The former Mayor of Spotswood, New Jersey is now facing charges for third degree theft after allegedly stealing money from a local scholarship fund.
According to officials from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, 39-year-old Nicholas Poliseno, who previously served as Mayor of Spotswood Borough, has been charged with one count of third degree theft. Following a coordinated investigation among members of the Division of Criminal Justice, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Spotswood Police Department, authorities reportedly uncovered that Poliseno withdrew money from a scholarship fund for his personal use in June of 2016.
The scholarship fund had been established in honor of former Spotswood Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Hinal Patel, who died at the young age of 22 when the ambulance she was in was hit by another vehicle. The scholarship to memorialize Patel is bestowed upon one graduate of Spotswood High School each year. Poliseno reportedly took the money to use it for gambling in Atlantic City.
On Monday, October 9th at 10:00 a.m., Poliseno turned himself in at the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. He was charged with one count of third degree theft and released pending his first appearance in Middlesex County Superior Court.
Now, Poliseno is facing serious penalties. Under New Jersey law, the severity of theft crimes is typically determined by the value of the money or property allegedly stolen. In this case, the defendant has been charged with a third degree theft crime because the value of the theft falls between $500 and $75,000.
In New Jersey, a third degree crime is punishable by between 3 and 5 years in prison. Notably, third degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration, which can be extremely important in a non-violent case such as this one. If you are a first-time offender charged with a non-violent third degree crime in NJ, you may be considered a viable candidate for the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI).
It is important to note that you can only use a diversionary program such as PTI one time in your life. If you successfully complete the program, essentially a period of probation during which you cannot be arrested or charged with another offense, the initial charges against you are dismissed. Clearly, this can be vital to a person seeking to avoid a criminal record.
Spotswood NJ Theft Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been charged with theft in Spotswood or elsewhere in Middlesex County, it is imperative to understand all of your legal options. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our Middlesex County theft attorneys regularly defend clients charged with theft offenses in Municipal and Superior Courts. Whether your case can be resolved through a diversionary program or an outright dismissal at trial, we are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome. To discuss your theft charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer today, contact our offices in Edison at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Former Spotswood mayor accused of theft