Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 23, 2022, John Hammond, 70, of Ortley Beach, pled guilty to Theft by Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P. At the time of his sentencing on November 18, 2022, the State will be recommending a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison. Hammond will also be required to make restitution to the victim in the amount of $230,000.00.
An investigation by the Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that between May 2017 and February 2019, Hammond deceived a friend by convincing him to invest $230,000.00 with him, promising large returns on his investment. Over the course of nearly two years, the victim deposited large sums of money into Hammond’s bank account – under the false impression that Hammond would be transferring the money into an investment account purportedly set up in the victim’s name. When the victim asked the defendant to withdraw a sum of money from the investment account, Hammond perpetuated his scheme by creating fraudulent financial documents purporting to be from Fidelity Investments. The investigation further revealed that Hammond never invested the victim’s money, never set up an investment account on the victim’s behalf, but instead used the victim’s money for his own personal benefit.
On September 8, 2020, Hammond surrendered himself at Toms River Township Police Headquarters, where he was processed and charged on a summons pending future appearances in Ocean County Superior Court.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Taylor Toscano who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau for their efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in today’s guilty plea, and soon, Hammond’s state prison sentence.