Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that the treasurer of the Mine Hill Fire Department was charged today with embezzling thousands of dollars from the fire department over the past two years.
Lisa Ayers, 39, of Mine Hill, was charged by complaint-summons with second-degree theft by unlawful taking. She was processed on the charge by State Police detectives at the Netcong Station of the New Jersey State Police. She was subsequently released without posting bail. The charge is the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
It is alleged that from November 1, 2010 through January 22, 2012, Ayers used her position of trust as treasurer and her control over the finances and bank account of the Mine Hill Fire Department to steal more than $75,000 in fire department funds. She allegedly wrote checks to “cash” from the fire department’s bank account and later cashed them. In addition, she allegedly wrote checks from the department’s account directly to pay her expenses, including checks written to the banks holding her home and car loans.
The second-degree theft charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. The complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charge is an indictable offense, it will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
The investigation was led by Deputy Attorney General Perry Primavera of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, and by Detective Sgt. Lisa King and Detective Kenneth Lutz of the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau.