Former Uxbridge town accountant indicted for allegedly stealing more than $729K

BOSTON (WHDH) - The former town accountant of Uxbridge has been charged in connection with stealing more than $729,000 from multiple municipalities, including the towns of Uxbridge and Millville in Worcester Country and the town of Monterey in Berkshire County, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday.

Justin Cole, 38, of Harvard, was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury on five counts of larceny over $250, two counts of larceny over $1,200, four counts of false claims, four counts of securing an unwarranted privilege, and a charge of unlawful financial interest of a municipal employee. He will be arraigned at later dates in Worcester Superior Court and in Berkshire Superior Court.

The AG’s Office alleges that from 2012 to 2017, Cole, while employed as Uxbridge’s town accountant, stole town funds by submitting and approving dozens of false invoices and related submissions that caused the town to pay for services not provided.

The AG’s investigation also found that as the sole proprietor of the Bay State Municipal Accounting Group, Inc., Cole allegedly used his company to defraud Uxbridge by causing the town to pay rent owed by BMAG to its landlord, and fraudulently billed software and equipment purchases made by BMAG to Uxbridge.

After stepping down as Uxbridge’s fulltime town accountant in July 2017, Cole allegedly continued to defraud other municipalities through BMAG, which provided accounting and financial services to the towns of Monterey and Millville.

The AG’s Office alleges that he then used this role to steal additional funds from both of those towns through fraudulent billing and by misleading officials about municipal loan applications.

In total, the AG’s Office alleges that Cole stole a total of $729,531.78 – $657,334.78 from Uxbridge, $24,597 from Monterey, and $47,600 from Millville.

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