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Former Brookdale President Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Colts Neck resident Peter Burnham must pay over $44,000 in restitution.

Former Brookdale Community College (BCC) President Peter F. Burnham received a five-year prison sentence after bilking the college, Monmouth University and the federal government of over $44,000 worth of items and services, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Grammiccioni announced.

Burnham, 68, of Colts Neck, was ordered to pay $44,497 in restitution by Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, who handed down the sentence at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold on Friday.

Burnham pleaded guilty on June 24 to two counts of official misconduct and one count of theft by deception. As part of his plea agreement, Burnham will be ineligible for parole for two years.

Burnham resigned from BCC in March 2011 after county officials and Freeholder John Curley raised questions about his spending practices.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) subsequently conducted an investigation into Burnham. Prosecutors found that from June 2003 until February 2011, Burnham used two credit cards issued by BCC to pay for expenses that were not related to college business, the MCPO said in a press release. These fraudulent expenses included lodging, airfare and meals in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Verginia, Arizona and Delaware. The expenses exceeded $24,000.

Burnham also bilked Monmouth University and the federal government out of $20,000 in student aid by exploiting a term in his contract that allowed for tuition reimbursement for family members who attended a state college or university, prosecutors said.

Burnham, whose son attended Monmouth University, had already been reimbursed for his son’s 2010/2011 school year tuition as per the terms of Burnham’s employment contract. However, after submitting his resignation to BCC in March 2011, Burnham and his son filed an application for federal student aid for the same 2010/2011 school year without disclosing the $20,000 tuition reimbursement benefit. The federal government paid the 2010/2011 tuition to Monmouth University directly after Burnham and his son qualified for the student aid. After noting the overpayment for tuition, Monmouth University  issued a $20,398 reimbursement check to Burnham’s son, which was deposited into Burnham’s personal bank account, according to a press release issued by the MCPO.

The case was assigned to Grammiccioni and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey. Burnham was represented by Steven Secare.

Carol Fowler December 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Actually, he doesn't even have to pay the $44,000; he got it down to under $8 G's: http://www.app.com/viewart/20121201/NJNEWS/311300068/Ex-Brookdale-College-chief-gets-5-years?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|
shorebird December 01, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Shorebirds Joan Raymond was finance committee chair for years she recommended that the board approve Burnham's expenditures. Why is she still on the Board? Why was she voted in as Vice Chair? She was alleged to be. Birdsall's love interest while they served as Trustees and along with Burnham they comprised the College'sFinance Committee for years.
Rita Murphy December 01, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Yet in Bergen County with SUPER CORRUPTION - THEY GET OFF with a slap! Now i'm not saying thhis guy at BCC should have gotten off but check out what the BIG Cheats in Bergen County got. Sickening! http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/Oury_due_to_be_sentenced_today_in_.html
Claudine Scozzari December 02, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The repayment was VACATION money.
Carol Fowler December 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM
This glimpse into a "Club Monmouth" lifestyle on the backs of the working class should prove to more folks that the 'other half" lives much better than a lot of us. Are we to believe and trust that this isn't happening with our Monmouth County tax dollars any longer? As taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, we can demand more vigilance with where our money's going. This is a slap in our faces and we shouldn't take it lying down. Time to stand up to the unethical "Club Monmouth" once and for all!

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