Hamilton Property Manager Charged for Embezzling and Money Laundering

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ – A Ewing man has been indicted for embezzling and laundering stolen funds from an apartment complex in Hamilton Township, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office reported today.

A Mercer County grand jury recently returned a 12-count indictment charging Nicolas DePaola, 64, with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from an apartment complex in Hamilton Township, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

“The indictment, returned April 1, 2022, charges Nicolas DePaola, 64, of Ewing, with first-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, second-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, three counts of third-degree filing a fraudulent tax return, three counts of third-degree failure to pay income tax, and third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received,” the MCPO said in a statement. “DePaola is charged with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from his former client, Hamilton Park CO-OP of Arena Drive, from 2014 through 2018. DePaola acted as the property manager for the CO-OP after taking over for his father, Richard DePaola of R.A. DePaola, Inc.”

According to the CO-OP’s tax documents, which DePaola was responsible for completing, reported management fees paid by the CO-OP to the defendant for 2014 through 2016 ranged from approximately $64,000-$79,000 per year.

The prosecutor’s office claimed from 2014 through 2018; financial records reveal Nicholas DePaola stole approximately $925,403 directly from the CO-OP in his capacity as the property manager through unauthorized checks and transfers from the victim’s operating bank account.

“Furthermore, the defendant used the CO-OP’s funds to pay his American Express credit card bills in the amount of $224,381 in the same timeframe. In total, DePaola was charged with laundering approximately $1,149,784. He also faces related tax charges,” Onofri said. “DePaola’s criminal acts were initially uncovered when a CO-OP tenant mistakenly received a letter from Hamilton Township notifying the recipient that the property was going to be sold within days at tax sale because the CO-OP owed back taxes and sewer fees to Hamilton Township. The outstanding bill with fees, penalties and interest totaled $372,840.39. The matter was brought to the attention of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) in September 2019 and an investigation ensued.”