SOUTH BRUNSWICK — A former South Brunswick fire commissioner was charged Thursday with stealing nearly $700,000 from South Brunswick Fire District 3 over a three-year period while he served as treasurer, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
Charles Hoens III, 60, of South Brunswick was charged with one count of theft after he surrendered to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office following a year-long investigation.
Investigator Donald Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Hoens wrote checks from the fire district in various amounts between October 2009 and November 2012 and allegedly deposited the funds in personal accounts. The amount of the theft totaled $695,759.46, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Carey described the investigation as detailed and extensive. “Corruption on any level will not be tolerated. In addition to prosecuting those who violate their duty to serve the public, when money is stolen from taxpayers, we will work diligently in our attempts to trace and recover the ill-gotten gains,” he said.
Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz, sitting in New Brunswick, set bail at $50,000.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Investigator Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-8848.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Hoens is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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