N.J. charges 4 secondary homeowners with Sandy fraud

Downed power lines and a battered road is what superstorm Sandy left behind as people walk off the flooded Seaside Heights island, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Downed power lines and a battered road is what superstorm Sandy left behind as people walk off the flooded Seaside Heights island, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey authorities announced Thursday criminal charges against four more people for allegedly filing fraudulent federal Superstorm Sandy relief fund applications.

State authorities have charged 130 people for allegedly engaging in this type of fraud since March 2014.

Those most recently charged include Connian Scollon, 56, of Little Egg Harbor Township; Robert Girardo, 68, of Ocean City; Rosemary Flannery, 58, of New York, New York; and Cynthia Hildebrandt, 59, of Wharton.

The secondary homes are located in Little Egg Harbor, Pleasantville, Highlands, and Manahawkin.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal says these alleged thefts were especially egregious because they diverted funds intended for victims left homeless. “We have recovered over $4 million through these prosecutions and we also have sent a strong message that should deter this type of fraud during future disaster relief efforts,” he said.

The state says that the four allegedly filed applications for relief funds that they were not entitled to because the damaged homes were not their primary residences when the storm struck.

All were charged by complaint-summons with second-degree theft by deception. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Click here to read the allegations against each defendant.

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