Thomas Scalgione, who ran fake 9/11 charity, jailed again

Stephanie Loder Press of Atlantic City

An Ocean County man, who admitted last year that he ran a fake 9/11 charity using a pickup truck painted with the Twin Towers, again is in jail, authorities said Saturday.

Thomas Scalgione, 41, of Stafford Township, remained in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River Saturday after being charged March 20 with” violation of condition of a special sentence.” His bail was set at $25,000, according to the jail website.

Scalgione, of the Manahawkin section, was one of two men who in 2014 pleaded guilty to the scam, a third-degree theft by deception charge, before Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney, acting state Attorney General John J. Hoffman said last year.

Scalgione and Mark Niemczyk, 67, of Tinton Falls, both pleaded guilty in January of 2014. Under their plea agreements, the state recommended that Niemczyk be sentenced to 364 days in jail and probation, Hoffman said. Scalgione’s plea deal called for him to receive probation, but he ended up with a jail term for violating an unrelated probation he was serving, authorities said.

Under the agreement, the two men were required to pay more than $120,000 to donors and for civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and investigative costs, Hoffman said.

They also are barred from ever working for any charitable organization in New Jersey, Hoffman said.

Scalgione and Niemczyk collected thousands of dollars by selling T-shirts and soliciting donations at 9/11 events, but never gave any of the proceeds to the victims’ families or to 9/11 charities as promised, Hoffman said.

“These con men shamelessly exploited the generosity of others, enriching themselves by diverting funds that were intended for the families of 9/11 victims,” Hoffman said in a statement issued in 2014. “These guilty pleas ensure that Niemczyk and Scalgione will carry criminal records for the rest of their lives that will bear witness to their greed and deviousness.”

The two men were scheduled to be sentenced in March, but details about the sentencings was unavailable Saturday.

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