Police dispatcher admits stealing nearly $5K from N.J. town’s volunteer EMS squad

Prosecutors say Matthew Bender, 33, used the money to make purchases at restaurants, auto stores and pharmacies


Chris Sheldon
nj.com

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A volunteer for an emergency medical services squad in Lacey who works as a full-time police dispatcher in town admitted this week to stealing $4,690 from the volunteer organization, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday.

Matthew Bender, 33, of Lacey Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft, officials said. Prosecutors said they would seek a term of probation, together with full restitution, forfeiture of his lifetime membership with the Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Service, resignation from his position with the Lacey Township Police Department, and forfeiture of any current or future public office or employment in New Jersey. Bender is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.

Matthew Bender admitted that he used his access to the Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Services’ PayPal account to transfer money to his account, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Matthew Bender admitted that he used his access to the Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Services’ PayPal account to transfer money to his account, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said. (Photo/Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Services via Facebook)

Bender used his access to the Lanoka Harbor Emergency Medical Services’ PayPal account to move the money into his personal account, authorities said. Bender bought meals at restaurants and made purchases at pharmacies and auto stores with the stolen money, the prosecutor’s office said.

The EMS had been awarded a grant from Benevity, an organization that facilitates grants on behalf of the Macy’s corporation, officials said.

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