MAYS LANDING — A 12-year veteran of the Atlantic City Police Department was indicted on official misconduct and other charges Thursday for allegedly lying about where he was living to take advantage of a discount rent program — and then make money by subletting the apartment.
Michael Jones, 39, is charged with official misconduct, theft and tax fraud for violating the rules of the Live-In Police Officers Program, which allowed him to rent a Stanley Holmes apartment at a more than 80 percent discount.
The charges include theft by deception, filing fraudulent tax returns and failure to pay state tax.
Jones was arrested in March, but insisted at the time it was retaliation because he wouldn’t help set up some of Atlantic City’s prominent officials, including the mayor. Then-Prosecutor Ted Housel called that allegation “reprehensible” at the time.
The program is meant to exchange active, live-in community policing for a discounted rent. Requirements include that the officer must live on the premises, provide police-related services outside of his employment with the department, provide quarterly reports and provide police officer presence to the residents of Stanley Holmes.
The investigation found that Jones paid $202 per month for the apartment, which normally would cost $1,035 month, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said in a release.
Jones was enrolled in the program for 74 months — from April 2005 until he was asked to leave in May 2011. He allegedly sublet to various individuals, collecting between $39,200 and $51,000.
He is accused of defrauding the Atlantic City Housing Authority and taxpayers of more than $61,000 in potential rental income.
He could face five to 10 years in prison if found guilty of official misconduct. Theft by deception carries a term of three to five years in prison.
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