A Lawrence Township man and his brother who lives in Freehold have been indicted on multiple charges in connection with the theft of 28 computers belonging to the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced
Darryl Jester, 55, of Lawrence Township, and Corey Jester, 49, of Freehold, were indicted by a state grand jury on charges of conspiracy, receiving stolen property and fencing, Grewal said.
Corey Jester also was indicted on charges of computer theft, theft by unlawful taking, and misapplication of entrusted property of government in the indictment, which was handed down by a state grand jury July 13.
The second degree crime of computer theft carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The remaining charges, which are third degree crimes, carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
According to the Attorney General, Corey Jester was contracted in 2017 to work as a temporary employee at the information technology help desk for the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. While he was working there, he allegedly went into a storage closet and stole 28 computers, including mini personal computers and laptop computers.
Corey Jester allegedly cleaned the data from the computers, installed new software and sold the computers online for prices that averaged $100 to $200 apiece, the Attorney General said. The computers had a combined retail value of $25,000 to $30,000.
Darryl Jester was charged because he allegedly helped his brother sell some of the computers online, knowing they had been stolen, the Attorney General said.
The New Jersey Schools Development Authority discovered the computers were missing in December 2017. After an initial investigation, the matter was turned over to the Division of Criminal Justice. The Jester brothers were arrested by the New Jersey State Police in January 2018.
“This case reflects our resolve to work with other governmental agencies to guard state property and taxpayer dollars vigilantly,” Grewal said.
Veronica Allende, director of the Division of Criminal Justice, urged members of the public to contact her office confidentially if they believe government property is being improperly used so an investigation can be launched. The division has a toll-free corruption tip line at 1-866-TIPS-4CJ, or online at www.njdcj.org, to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities.