Shore man pleads guilty to stealing nearly $1M in Sandy funds

In this aerial photo, sand fills the streets in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, along the Jersey Shore, N.J. (Mike Groll/AP Photo)

In this aerial photo, sand fills the streets in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, along the Jersey Shore, N.J. (Mike Groll/AP Photo)

A New Jersey contractor has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1 million in Superstorm Sandy funds.

Robert Brower, 45, of Seaside Heights, entered his plea last Monday to theft and financial facilitation of criminal activity.

Prosecutors say the 45-year-old took $750,000 from a Toms River homeowner for work that was never completed.

“Brower admitted in court that he left the house unfinished [and kept the money] for his own use, including the purchase of illegal narcotics,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.

They said Brower also stole more than $225,000 from a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a home in Seaside Heights he never repaired.

“Brower admitted that he converted those funds for his own use and tried to disguise his theft by using his father’s pedigree information,” Billhimer said.

In an unrelated matter, prosecutors say the Seaside Heights man also pled guilty to the distribution of 18 folds of heroin.

Brower faces up to 22 years in prison on all of the charges.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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