An Ocean County couple Monday admitted using more than $1.4 million in Hurricane Sandy relief funds to gamble in Atlantic City and purchase a $17,000 diamond ring, rather than rebuild storm victims’ homes, the state Attorney General’s Office announced.

Jeffrey Colmyer, 42, and Tiffany Cimino, 34, both of Little Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty to theft. Colmyer also pleaded guilty to second-degree money laundering on behalf of the couple’s home improvement companies, Rayne Construction Management Services LLC and Colmyer & Sons LLC.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 7. The state will recommend Colmyer be sentenced to seven years in prison, while Cimino be sentenced to probation.

The defendants must pay $799,402 in restitution to victims and $655,243 to the state. Colmyer also must pay $56,472 to the state for back taxes.

More than 20 victims paid the couple and their firms to repair or rebuild their homes, primarily using funds from the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.

Colmyer and Cimino diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars to personal expenses, including jewelry purchases by Cimino and hundreds of thousands of dollars Colmyer gambled at seven casinos in Atlantic City, Grewal said.

They were arrested Oct. 11, 2016.

“Colmyer and Cimino heartlessly preyed on Sandy victims whose homes had been destroyed, stealing the relief funds that were the lifeline these victims needed to rebuild in the aftermath of the historic storm,” Grewal said. “By sending Colmyer to prison, we deliver a strong deterrent message that anyone willing to sink so low as to steal disaster relief money from victims will face a stern reckoning.”

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