Prosecutor: Wall Township police sergeant stole $115,000 from local PBA union, several charitable campaigns
A police sergeant in Wall Township admitted to stealing more than $115,000 from his local police union, according to Monmouth County prosecutors.
Officials say James Cadigan, 41, stole from a youth football non-profit organization and several charitable campaigns intended to drive breast cancer research. They say Cadigan admitted to charges of second and third-degree theft by unlawful taking.
According to prosecutors, an investigation into Cadigan's activities was initiated in 2022 after it was discovered that a significant amount of cash proceeds was missing following the Wall Township PBA Local No. 234 annual summertime barbecue fundraiser. Officials say Cadigan was solely responsible for orchestrating and running the event last year and in many preceding years.
In addition to confirming that a significant amount of cash was missing, prosecutors say the investigation revealed that starting at least in 2018 and in each year thereafter, Cadigan made numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals from multiple PBA bank accounts and wrote checks to himself and to cash from these accounts. Officials say it was determined that Cadigan would make these withdrawals both while on and off duty, sometimes in street clothes and other times in his full police uniform.
As the investigation continued, prosecutors say it revealed that from February 2020 to November 2022 as president of the Wall American Youth Football nonprofit organization, Cadigan also used a debit card intended for purchases to benefit the organization to purchase approximately $20,000 worth of items for his own personal use. They say the items included pool pumps and chemicals, a quilted hammock, a truck hitch, a karaoke machine, a weight sled trainer, a boot warmer, an inflatable movie screen and a grill.
It was also revealed on two occasions that Cadigan represented he was raising money for charitable purposes, but then kept the money for himself, according to officials.
Cadigan is barred from ever holding a public position again in New Jersey. He's scheduled to be sentenced on March 14, 2024.