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MAYS LANDING – A former Margate firefighter was sentenced yesterday for taking funds over a 3-year period from Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) bank accounts, and making personal use of the money, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced today.

On March 10, 2015, after an 8-month investigation, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit Michael C. Palmer, 36, of Princeton Road, Somers Point, with Official Misconduct, and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property—both crimes of the 2nd degree.

The State alleged that Palmer, while employed by the City of Margate as a Lieutenant of the Fire Department, used his position as Secretary/Treasurer of the New Jersey Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) Local 41 (Margate), to take more than $75,000 from FMBA Local 41 bank accounts between January 2011 and June 2014, and made personal use of the money.

The Prosecutor’s Office was alerted to irregularities in Margate FMBA Local 41 bank accounts in June 2014. Lt. Palmer was immediately suspended from his employment by the City of Margate, pending the outcome of the investigation.

On April 11, 2016, Palmer waived indictment and pled guilty to the accusations before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury. Upon application made by First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton, who represented the State in the matter, Judge DeLury issued an order that forfeited Palmer’s public employment as a firefighter and lifeguard for the City of Margate.

Yesterday, Thursday, May 26, 2016, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, Judge DeLury sentenced Palmer to one year of probation, and that he pay full restitution.

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Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652- 1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

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