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November 9, 09

NEWS / Burlington County Man Sentenced to State Prison for Writing Bad Checks

TRENTON - Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that a Burlington County man was sentenced to state prison today for knowingly writing thousands of dollars worth of bad checks against a bank account that was closed out.

According to Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni, Philip A. Ruggiero, Jr., 48, of Marlton, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Harry Carroll in Bergen County to serve seven years in state prison and to pay $56,658 in restitution. Ruggiero’s sentence was based on his guilty plea to passing bad checks, a charge contained in a Sept. 17, 2008 state grand jury indictment.

In pleading guilty on March 11, Ruggiero, a corporate officer for Holmes Mill Farms LLC in Cream Ridge, admitted that between Dec. 26, 2006 and Sept. 2, 2008, he wrote bad checks. An investigation determined that after Ruggiero was told by Mariner’s Bank in Edgewater, Bergen County, that Holmes Mill Farms’ account at the bank was being closed, he continued to write checks from the account. Ruggiero sent the checks to various companies and individuals, including checks that he wrote to his wife. Mariner’s Bank paid out thousands of dollars for the checks before uncovering the fraud and referring the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice for investigation.

Detective Martin Farrell and Deputy Attorney General Francine Ehrenberg coordinated the investigation. Ehrenberg prosecuted the case and represented the Division of Criminal Justice at the sentencing.




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