LACEY — A township resident pleaded guilty to theft Wednesday in Ocean County Superior Court, and as part of that agreement must pay $217,300 in restitution to a female victim.

The county prosecutor's office said in a release that Ross Miserendino, 56, was in a romantic relationship with that woman as of 2019, when she began to experience medical problems that "caused her to be temporarily unable to manage her finances."

Over that year and the next, prosecutors said, Miserendino was given access to the victim's bank account and checks for the purpose of helping her pay her bills, but wound up writing 146 checks in her name without her authorization, for a total amount of $171,000.

While some checks were written out to Miserendino himself, the prosecutor's office said most were made payable to Enrique Roldan, 43, of Jackson.

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Miserendino also was alleged to have obtained and charged $34,000 to an American Express credit card in the victim's name, again without her authorization, and stole $11,000 worth of personal property from her Lacey Township home, according to the release.

Roldan is accused of sharing in the proceeds and was also charged with theft, and the case against him is still pending.

Sentencing for Miserendino is scheduled for Nov. 4, and the state will recommend a five-year prison sentence.

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