SEA BRIGHT MAN CHARGED IN SANDY FRAUD

By JOHN T. WARD

A Sea Bright man was arrested Wednesday and charged with ripping off the Federal Emergency Management Administration by racking up hotel charges he didn’t deserve, authorities announced.

Bill Nagle, 51, of Center Street, was charged with defrauding FEMA of more than $12,000 under a Transitional Shelter Assistance program, according to a press release by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

According to Gramiccioni, Nagle exploited the TSA, intended to provide shelter assistance to people displaced from their homes by Hurricane Sandy, accepting $12,114 to pay for 68 nights of hotel stays between mid-January and late March, even though his longtime apartment had been restored to habitability by the end of December.

“Being a victim does not open the door to defraud the government in times of need,” Gramiccioni said in the announcement. “We can all pull together in times of crisis to help one another, but that combined effort to aid and assist comes with the understanding that no one will take advantage of the situation.”

According to the announcement, Nagle’s apartment building was damaged by flooding caused by the October 29 storm. The first-floor of the apartment was flooded, electrical service to the building was interrupted and the heat and hot water units for the building were damaged and needed to be replaced, rendering his third-floor apartment temporarily uninhabitable.

But the prosecutor contends that Nagle continued to accept federal housing funds, fraudulently, after the borough issued certificates of occupancy for the second- and third-floor apartments on December 29. That day, Nagle was advised by his landlord that his apartment was habitable, but failed to tell FEMA, and “repeatedly submitted” forms for assistance to cover his hotel bills, the prosecutor alleges.

Nagle was being held on a charge of theft-by deception at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. Superior Court Judge Patricia Del Bueno Cleary set bail at $5,000 bail with no 10 percent option, Gramiccioni said.

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