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.
Eric Coran, 41, of Medford has been charged with second-degree official misconduct, multiple counts of theft, criminal computer activity and impersonation, and second-degree money laundering. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and Robbinsville Township Police Chief Michael Polaski announced the charges on Friday.
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 such as police radios, emergency lights, sirens, and controllers. Coran was fired from his job on Friday after being suspended without pay since July, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Public Corruption Unit and the Robbinsville Township Police Department. Between July 2021 and July 2022, Coran allegedly abused his position by fraudulently obtaining and altering purchase orders issued by the Township of Robbinsville to make unauthorized purchases for his own use. He also allegedly made unauthorized purchases using the township’s Amazon account and used other means to steal Robbinsville property and funds.
Mercer County officials also allege that Coran sold various police radios, emergency lights, sirens, and controllers over the internet using an alias and mailing them throughout the United States using his Medford residence as a return address. The approximate value of the stolen property is more than $250,000. The investigation also revealed Coran used the credentials of both Chief Christopher Nitti and Chief Michael Polaski without authorization to access and make alterations to a software program used by the Township of Robbinsville for budgeting and financial purposes in order to cover up his crimes.
“No one is above the law, especially public servants,” Onofri said of the charges. “Individuals who abuse their positions and violate public trust should be prepared to face the consequences.”
Officials said Coran’s criminal activities were uncovered in July when Motorola contacted the Robbinsville Township Police Department regarding service for one of the stolen radios. The matter was then referred to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and a joint investigation followed.
“Eric was a long-time, trusted employee serving 21 years with the police department. He was an important member of the team,” Polaski said. “We were both shocked and disappointed to learn that this had been going on.”
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 to 10 years in state prison, to run consecutive to the theft charges, and a $200,000 fine. 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.