NJ cop who conned his tenants out of thousands could avoid jail
OCEAN TOWNSHIP (Monmouth) — A disgraced cop who tried a side hustle as a landlord stole from his tenants and forged his way to a $425,000 loan.
Cory Cole pleaded guilty Monday to several charges related to properties he owned and rented in his hometown of Brielle. He resigned from the force in 2020 shortly after prosecutors unveiled the first round of charges.
As part of his plea deal, Cole could avoid jail time altogether if he pays $8,400 in restitution to the two victims before his sentencing hearing in August. Otherwise, the 51-year-old former officer faces up to 180 days in Monmouth County jail.
When not on duty, Cole bought and sold properties near the Jersey Shore. He rented out at least two properties in Brielle just 1.5 miles away from Manasquan Beach, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.
Investigators found Cole bought one property on Borrie Avenue using a $425,000 loan acquired under false pretenses. The ex-cop had forged a letter from his former matrimonial attorney to get the money.
This forged letter stated an issue surrounding unpaid attorney's fees had been resolved. But it was a lie. The lender would not have approved the loan without the letter, prosecutors said.
Cole then used the same property on Borrie Avenue to collect a $4,200 security deposit from a tenant. The renter, a mother with kids, signed a lease but never actually moved into the home.
Prosecutors said days after collecting the check, he deposited it then withdrew most of it in cash.
Soon, the Brielle School District reached out about the actual residency of the woman's kids. In response, Cole sent a forged lease to the district claiming she had moved into a different property he also owned.
Cole admitted to illegally taking another $4,200 security deposit from tenants living at a property on Fisk Avenue.
To keep the money, he sent the renters a forged letter from New Jersey Natural Gas. It claimed they were behind on their utility payments, which was false.
Prosecutors brought nine charges against Cole for his deceptions. He pleaded guilty to four of them, including three counts of third-degree theft and a single count of fourth-degree forgery.