An Ocean County couple was indicted Tuesday by a state grand jury for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from more than 20 victims who hired the couple’s home improvement companies to repair or rebuild their homes after Superstorm Sandy, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced.
Jeffrey Colmyer, 41, and Tiffany Cimino, 33, who live together in Little Egg Harbor, were indicted on charges of second-degree conspiracy, second-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, two counts of second-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity (money laundering), second-degree misconduct by a corporate official, third-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity (structuring) and third-degree tampering with public records or information, authorities said.
They are also are charged various third-degree counts of filing a fraudulent tax return, failure to file tax returns, and failure to pay taxes. Their home improvement contracting companies, Rayne Construction Management Services, LLC (RCMS) and Colmyer & Sons, LLC, were also indicted.
The indictment alleges that the couple and their firms were paid mostly in Sandy relief funds but diverted much of the money to gamble at Atlantic City casinos and purchase luxury items, including a $17,000 diamond ring.
They abandoned jobs, or in many cases failed to even start jobs, leaving many victims with uninhabitable homes, according to Office of the Attorney General.
“Financial fraud doesn’t get much more loathsome than this,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “These defendants compounded the predicament of victims who were among the hardest hit by the storm, pulling the safety net out from under them.”
Colmyer and Cimino posted bond of $150,000 each after their arrests last October and were released from jail.
“We have prosecuted scores of defendants for various types of fraud related to Sandy, but this case is by far the most egregious,” Porrino said, adding that the couple allegedly stole $700,000 from homeowners.
As a result of a civil action filed against the couple since their arrests, the Department of Community Affairs has disbursed an additional $776,000 in federal relief funds to allow Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation recipients who were alleged victims to hire new contractors to repair their storm-damaged properties.