TRENTON – The former chief financial officer for the Middlesex County Economic Opportunities Corporation, a charitable nonprofit agency funded with state and federal grants, pleaded guilty Monday to stealing $51,000 from the agency, Attorney General Anne Milgram announced.
Claudia Grant, 79, of Perth Amboy, pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa in Middlesex County, according to Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni.
The MCEOC is a nonprofit agency that provides funds and assistance to needy residents of Middlesex County. It receives funding in the form of various grants from federal and state agencies for that purpose. Grant served as chief financial officer of MCEOC from May 1971 to March 2006.
In pleading guilty, Grant admitted that between July 2004 and February 2005, she used her position as chief financial officer to authorize the payment by MCEOC of $99,106 to credit card companies to pay off her personal credit card debt.
Of that amount, $48,000 represented reimbursement of cash advances that Grant made from her personal credit cards in order to pay a premium bill to Aetna Inc. for health care coverage for MCEOC employees. However, there was no legitimate reason for payment by MCEOC of the balance of $51,106 in personal credit card debt of Grant. She admitted that she stole that amount from the agency.
Grant is scheduled to be sentenced by DeVesa on Feb. 22. Under the plea agreement, Grant must pay full restitution to MCEOC of $51,106. The state agreed to leave the sentence to the discretion of the judge.
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