WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A former town accountant of Uxbridge pleaded guilty in Worcester Superior Court on Wednesday, and has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for stealing more than $900,000 in assets from multiple communities like Uxbridge, Wenham, Millville, and Monterey.
According to an announcement from Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday, 40-year-old Justin Cole of Uxbridge pleaded guilty to six counts of Larceny over $250, two counts of Larceny over $1,200, five counts of False Claims, four counts of Securing an Unwarranted Privilege, and one count of Unlawful Financial Interest of a Municipal Employee.
Cole was declared a Common and Notorious Thief and was sentenced to three years in prison with three years of probation with the condition that he may not engage in any financial services for any person or entity.
“This defendant abused his position of trust to steal taxpayer dollars from Massachusetts towns for his own benefit,” Healey said in a statement to WBZ NewsRadio. “We are pleased to deliver justice on behalf of these towns, and to hold this defendant accountable.”
Officials say Cole stole a total of $855,474 from Uxbridge, by submitting and approving fake invoices, using town funds to pay off his accounting firm's rent and equipment bills.
After stepping down from his role in Uxbridge in 2017, officials say Cole stole more money from surrounding municipalities through his Bay State Municipal Accounting Group, which did financial work for them.