Superstorm Sandy contractor imprisoned, must pay more than $1M

In this Oct. 31, 2012 file photo, a view from the air shows the destroyed homes left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in Ortley Beach, N.J. (Mike Groll/AP Photo, File)

In this Oct. 31, 2012 file photo, a view from the air shows the destroyed homes left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in Ortley Beach, N.J. (Mike Groll/AP Photo, File)

A judge has sentenced a New Jersey contractor to 10 years in prison for stealing around $1 million in funds after Superstorm Sandy.

Prosecutors say Robert Brower, 45, of Seaside Heights 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 after Brower’s guilty plea in January.

He admitted to theft and financial facilitation of criminal activity.

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

Brower “transferred the funds to a bank account he created using his deceased father’s social security number and date of birth in order to conceal the proceeds of the theft,” Billhimer said.

In addition to imposing five years of parole ineligibility, the judge ordered Brower to pay restitution in the amount of $229,395.22 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and $786,500 to the Toms River homeowner, according to Billhimer.

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