Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on October 23, 2020, Tyler Dietlmeier, 28, of Toms River, pled guilty to Theft by Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, and Criminal Coercion in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5, before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C.  At the time of sentencing on December 18, 2020, the State will be seeking a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) relative to the Theft by Deception offense, and four years New Jersey State Prison relative to the Criminal Coercion charge.  The sentences are to run concurrently.  Dietlmeier will also be required to make restitution to his victim.

On January 27, 2020, the Toms River Township Police Department responded to a local residence in reference to a report of fraudulent activity.  An investigation by the Toms River Police Detective Bureau revealed that Dietlmeier had befriended, under false pretenses, a 73-year-old legally blind woman who lived alone.  The investigation revealed that beginning in October 2019, Dietlmeier opened numerous credit card accounts in the victim’s name without her permission, added his name as an authorized user to her existing accounts, increased the credit limits on existing accounts, and changed the phone numbers on some of her accounts so that any fraud alerts from the credit card companies would go directly to him.  Dietlmeier also rented cars using her information, and accessed her bank accounts.  In most cases, Dietlmeier used the victim’s credit cards to buy gift cards which he then sold for cash.  In total, the defendant fraudulently obtained in excess of $100,000 through his criminal scheme.  Additionally, when the victim questioned Dietlmeier about the possibility that he had defrauded her, he threatened to harm her and her family if she reported her concerns to law enforcement.

As a result of the investigation, a warrant was issued for Dietlmeier’s arrest on January 29, 2020.  On February 6, 2020, Dietlmeier was arrested by members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division in Plainsboro, New Jersey.  He was transported to and processed at Toms River Police Headquarters, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

“To stoop so low as to take advantage of an elderly person, who also happens to live alone and is legally blind, is about as reprehensible as it gets,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.  “Let the message be sent that we will not tolerate con artists who prey upon and victimize our seniors and the disabled.  We will continue to be vigilant investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against the most vulnerable in our community who, because of their age or disability, simply cannot fight for themselves,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.  

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the fine work of Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Heisler, Taylor Toscano, and Timothy Kelly who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division for their combined efforts in connection with this investigation which ultimately resulted in today’s guilty plea, and soon, Dietlmeier’s state prison sentence.