Eric Coran, 41, of Medford, NJ a 21-year employee of the Robbinsville Township Police Department has been charged with stealing and selling property and equipment belonging to the police department for personal gain.
August 12, 2022
ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office press release:
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Robbinsville Township Police Chief Michael Polaski announced today that a 21-year employee of the Robbinsville Township Police Department has been charged with stealing and selling property and equipment belonging to the police department for personal gain.
On Friday, August 12, 2022, a criminal complaint was signed charging Eric Coran, 41, of Medford, NJ, with second-degree official misconduct, multiple counts of theft, criminal computer activity and impersonation, and second-degree money laundering. Coran has been employed by the Robbinsville Township Police Department as a communications officer since 2002. His responsibilities included purchasing, ordering, programming, and maintaining police equipment including police radios, emergency lights, sirens and controllers. Coran was terminated from his job on Friday after being suspended without pay since July 2022.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Public Corruption Unit and the Robbinsville Township Police Department. The investigation revealed that between July 2021 and July 2022, Coran abused his position by fraudulently obtaining and altering purchase orders issued by the Township of Robbinsville to make unauthorized purchases for his own uses; making unauthorized purchases for his own uses utilizing the township’s Amazon account; and utilizing other means to steal Robbinsville property and funds.
Further, Coran sold various police radios, emergency lights, sirens and controllers over the internet using an alias and mailed them throughout the United States utilizing his Medford residence as a return address. The approximate value of the stolen property is more than $250,000. The investigation also revealed Coran utilized the credentials of both Chief Christopher Nitti and Chief Polaski without authorization to access and make alterations in a software program used by the Township of Robbinsville for budgeting and financial purposes to further and cover up his crimes.
“No one is above the law, especially public servants,” Prosecutor Onofri said. “Individuals who abuse their positions and violate public trust should be prepared to face the consequences.”
“Eric was a long-time, trusted employee serving 21 years with the police department. He was an important member of the team,” Chief Polaski said. “We were both shocked and disappointed to learn that this had been going on.”
Coran’s criminal acts were uncovered in July when Motorola contacted the Robbinsville Township Police Department regarding service of one of the stolen radios. The matter was brought to the attention of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and a joint investigation ensued.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Cook, chief of the Public Corruption Unit. Second-degree crimes carry a penalty of five to 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine. Third-degree crimes carry a penalty of three to five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine. If convicted of the second-degree crime of money laundering, Coran faces a penalty of five–10 years in state prison, to run consecutive to the theft charges, and a $200,000 fine. Additionally, he would be subject to a $500,000 anti-money laundering profiteering penalty. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Coran pending trial.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Mayor Dave Fried Statement on Eric Coran
“Today’s arrest and the charges leveled against Robbinsville Township Police Department Communications and Dispatch Coordinator Eric Coran are an unfathomable breach of trust by a long-time employee. Immediate action was taken, and he is no longer employed by the Township.
We talk all the time about owning our mistakes, and Robbinsville Township today is staying true to that and walking the walk. Our Police Department uncovered this alleged scheme, and it has already taken several proactive steps, featuring multiple layers of increased accountability, to help ensure this never happens again. At the end of the day this was not only outstanding police work, but outstanding police work under the tremendous strain of having to investigate one of their own. We want to thank Angelo Onofri and his team at the MCPO for granting us the resources needed to get where we are today. That said, we sincerely apologize to our residents for not catching this sooner. We will be submitting a claim to our insurance carrier to get all $250,000 reimbursed.
As this is an ongoing investigation, Robbinsville Township and the Robbinsville Township Police Department will have no further comment.” — Mayor Dave Fried
Eric Coran was Robbinsville Township Police Department’s Dispatcher Of The Year 2018