- Office of the Inspector General
Media Contact for Former Accountant for Four Massachusetts Communities Pleads Guilty to Stealing $930,000
The former town accountant for Uxbridge, who was indicted in 2020 and 2021 in connection with the alleged theft of $930,000, pled guilty to all 18 charges against him in Worcester County Superior Court on May 25, 2022.
Justin Cole, 40, worked as Uxbridge’s town accountant between 2007 and 2018. He also provided accounting services on a contract basis to the towns of Millville, Monterey and Wenham through his company, Baystate Municipal Accounting Group. In a joint investigation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the OIG found evidence that Mr. Cole stole town funds by submitting fake invoices for services that were never provided. The investigation also found evidence that Mr. Cole used town funds to pay two vendors of his private businesses for office rent and software purchases.
In 2020, a grand jury indicted Mr. Cole on seven counts of larceny, four counts of presentation of false claims, four counts of receiving an unwarranted privilege and one count of having a financial interest in a municipal contract. These charges related to the theft of more than $657,000 from Uxbridge, $47,000 from Millville and $24,000 from Monterey. A second grand jury indictment in 2021 added another larceny count and a false claim count against Mr. Cole in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 from Uxbridge and Wenham.
On May 25, 2022, Mr. Cole pled guilty to all 18 charges. A Superior Court judge sentenced Mr. Cole to three years and one month in the Worcester House of Correction, followed by three years of probation. The judge also barred Mr. Cole from performing financial services for any person or entity while incarcerated or on probation. A hearing on restitution will be held following Mr. Cole’s release.
For more information, see the Attorney General’s Office press release: Former Uxbridge Town Accountant Sentenced to Three Years in Jail for Stealing More Than $900,000 From Multiple Municipalities.