Former Summit municipal official charged with fraudulently billing city $74,000

The former assistant director of the City of Summit’s Department of Community Programs has been criminally charged with fraudulently billing his former employers tens of thousands of dollars, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Friday. 

James Colucci, 50, of Summit is charged with two counts of third-degree theft by deception via submitting fraudulent invoices and a single count of third-degree theft by deception via assuming a false identity.

A joint investigation by the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Summit Police Department revealed that on various dates from December 2017 into February 2019, Colucci allegedly submitted multiple fraudulent invoices to the City of Summit, using the names of two nonexistent companies, according to Unit Supervisor and Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is prosecuting the case. During various dates in that same time, Colucci also allegedly assumed a false identity to file fraudulent paperwork with the City.

Colucci allegedly pocketed more than $74,000 by orchestrating the scheme.

Colucci’s attorney was served the charges via summons on Thursday, with a first appearance in Union County Superior Court being scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Friday, January 24.

Convictions on third-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by prison terms of 3 to 5 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.