- Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
that the former tax collector for Fairfield
Township, Cumberland County, has been charged
with stealing more than $96,000 in tax funds.
Sutherland, 41, of Millville, was charged
on Sept. 29 with official misconduct, theft
by failure to make required disposition,
tampering with public records, and computer
criminal activity. She was issued a summons
complaint and released pending a court appearance.
charges were the result of an investigation
by the New Jersey State Police Troop “A”
Criminal Investigation Office in Bridgeton
and the New Jersey State Police Official
Corruption Unit. The case is being prosecuted
by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption
allegedly stole more than $96,000 in municipal
tax payments over a four-year period beginning
in 2003. Fairfield Township receives a significant
percentage of property tax payments in cash.
Sutherland allegedly stole cash payments
and manipulated the computerized tax collection
records to conceal the thefts. The investigation
began earlier this year when the municipal
solicitor in Fairfield contacted the New
Jersey State Police in Bridgeton to report
that a shortage in excess of $96,000 was
discovered during the annual municipal audit
conducted by an outside accounting firm.
had lost her job as tax collector in 2007
because, by state law, tax collectors are
required to be bonded, and she could not
obtain insurance due to personal financial
problems. The charges are merely accusations
and the defendant is presumed innocent until
investigation was conducted by Detective
Matthew Peeke of the Troop "A"
Criminal Investigation Office and Detective
Anthony Carugno of the Official Corruption
South Unit, under the supervision of Detective
Sgt. Karl E. Ulbrich. The case is being
prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General J.
Michael Wicke of the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau.