NEW BRUNSWICK — A grand jury in Middlesex County indicted a Brick Township man on charges of stealing about $82,000 from a Woodbridge woman by keeping money that was supposed to be invested on her behalf, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today.
Philip Cohen, 75, was indicted in New Brunswick on Dec. 2, on charges of misapplication of entrusted property, theft by failure to make the required disposition of property received, securities fraud and two counts of theft by deception.
An investigation by Detective Timothy Laughery of the Woodbridge Police Department and Investigator Lisa Collins of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Cohen took funds in various amounts from the 61-year-old woman between January 2008 and March 2010, authorities said.
Cohen, who allegedly represented himself as a licensed securities trader, is accused of telling the woman that he was investing the money in energy stocks while never depositing any funds with a brokerage firm.
Cohen disappeared sometime before March 23, after the woman began questioning him about the status of her investments, authorities said. He remains at large.
A warrant for his arrest was issued after a grand jury in Ocean County handed up an indictment on Aug. 3, charging him with theft by deception and two counts of issuing bad checks.
In that case, the grand jury charged that Cohen took $30,000 from a Brick Township man between October 13, 2009, and March 1, 2010, but failed to invest the funds. Cohen also wrote two bogus checks when the man asked for the return of his money, the grand jury charged.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on Cohen to call Detective Laughery at the Woodbridge Police Department at 1-732-634-7700, or Investigator Collins of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-3300.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, Cohen is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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