A Stafford Township man who bilked investors out of more than $1 million for misrepresenting himself in the construction of three houses on Long Beach Island will spend the next eight years in state prison, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said.
An Ocean County grand jury in February 2014 found guilty of two counts of second degree theft and one count of second degree attempted theft.
Ocean County Superior Court Judge Rochell Gizinski sentenced Haugland to eight years in state prison today, with all three counts to run consecutively. She put a three-year stipulation of parole ineligibility and ordered Haugland to pay back $1,092,500 to his victims, Coronato said.
Haugland was immediately remanded to Ocean County Jail to
begin serving his sentence.
The state argued during the four-week trial that Haugland - who was in the business of home
construction and had numerous building projects in the Long Beach Island area -
had deceived investors.
Specifically, Haugland claimed involvement in business activities related to three construction or proposed construction projects located at 1410 South Beach Avenue in Beach Haven, 6 Edge Water Drive in North Beach, Long Beach Township and 6013 Ocean Beach Blvd., Brant Beach, Long Beach Township.
The jury found that Haugland deceived investors about his ownership status in the real property or his authority to deal in the property to induce the victims to invest. The jury also found that he failed to use investor monies pursuant to a known legal obligation - for construction on the respective properties as specified in his agreements with the investors.
The jury also determined that the total amount taken by the defendant from 12 sets of investors was $1,092,500. Finally, the jury found that the defendant sought to obtain a mortgage loan in excess of $75,000 by providing false information to a bank.
The lead detective on this case was James Conroy of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit. The case was presented to the jury by Senior Assistant Prosecutors Martin Anton and Peter Ryan. The defendant was represented by V. Scott Macom of Egg Harbor Township.