Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 5, 2023, John Hammond, 70, of Ortley Beach, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., to five years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Theft by Deception. Hammond will also be required to make restitution to the victim in the amount of $211,415.98. Hammond pled guilty to the charge before Judge Ryan on September 23, 2022.
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 over $200,000 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 Hammond’s guilty plea, and now his state prison sentence.