New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the executive vice president of the East Windsor Police Athletic League (PAL) and a former Hamilton Township, Mercer County, police sergeant, have been charged by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor with stealing thousands of dollars from the East Windsor PAL – and the children served by the community organization – through a scheme of bribery and collusion.
According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, John Fiore, 58, of Allentown, Monmouth County and Jeffrey Nemes, 38, of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, were charged in a four-count State Grand Jury indictment returned on June 9.
Fiore, the executive vice president of the East Windsor Police Athletic League and a former detective sergeant with the East Windsor Police Department, was charged with conspiracy (2nd degree), bribery in official and political matters (2nd degree), official misconduct (2nd degree), and misapplication of entrusted property (3rd degree).
Nemes, a former Hamilton Township police officer and the owner of Nemes Enterprises Inc., a Hamilton Township-based construction company, was charged with conspiracy (2nd degree) and bribery in official and political matters (2nd degree). If convicted on all charges, Fiore faces up to 35 years in state prison and a fine of up to $465,000, while Nemes faces up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $300,000.
“This ongoing investigation and prosecution continues to reveal a pattern of corruption and greed fueled by insurance fraud as a means for personal enrichment,” said Criminal Justice Director McKoy. “In this case, the victims were the young men and women who depend on the PAL for community-based activities. The crimes alleged in this indictment go beyond theft – they represent a total disregard for the community in exchange for personal enrichment. This investigation continues.”
Gooden Brown said the State Grand Jury indictment alleges that between May 1, 1998 and June 10, 1999, Fiore and Nemes conspired with Marc Rossi, a former Mercer County law enforcement officer convicted of masterminding an “arson-for-profit” and insurance fraud scheme responsible for at least 10 Mercer County arson fires, to defraud the East Windsor PAL out of more than $50,000 by steering a construction project to Nemes’ construction company. In return, it is alleged that Fiore received free construction to his residence, while Rossi received a cash payment.
The indictment charges that Fiore, as executive vice president of the East Windsor PAL, used his position as an officer on the Board of Directors to contract the Nemes’ construction company to build a PAL concession stand/administration building on Airport Road in East Windsor.
The investigation determined that Nemes charged the East Windsor PAL $274,046 for the project – more than $50,000 over comparative cost analysis obtained by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. It is alleged that in return for Fiore’s influencing the PAL Board of Directors to steer the building contract to Nemes, Fiore received an $8,000 deck addition to his former Eldridge Drive, Washington Township, Mercer County, residence free of charge. The indictment also charges that unindicted co-conspirator, Marc Rossi, received a $5,000 cash payment for his role in arranging the deal between Fiore, the East Windsor PAL, and the Nemes Construction Company.
The indictment is part of a continuing investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor targeting Rossi and a Mercer County-based arson-for-profit ring, insurance fraud scam, and municipal corruption.
As a result of the investigation, ring-leader Rossi was sentenced to eight years in state prison and six other individuals have been convicted and sentenced for their roles in the arson-for-hire and insurance fraud conspiracy. Nemes was previously indicted by a State Grand Jury on Dec. 18, 2000, on charges that he stole more than $200,000 in insurance money for failing to complete agreed upon repairs from four homeowners whose properties had sustained fire damage. Nemes was convicted by a jury in February, 2003 and sentenced to seven years in state prison.
Additionally, Rossi plead guilty to a criminal Accusation which charged him with receiving the $5,000 payment involving Fiore and Nemes; Rossi was sentenced to three years in state prison on that theft charge.
The indictment was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Maria Marinari Sypek on June 9. The case has been assigned to the Mercer County Superior Court for trial. Arrest warrants have been issued for both defendants; Nemes remains free pending an appeal on the recent conviction.
Upon arrest, the defendants will appear in Mercer County Superior Court for arraignment and bail.