Michael Jones

Atlantic City police Officer Michael Jones

Lynda Cohen

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.

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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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