ASBURY PARK – A former member of the Asbury Park VFW has been charged with stealing over $21,000 from the organization, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Joseph Nista of Neptune City, a Korean War Veteran, has been charged with third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Theft and fourth degree Forgery in connection with unauthorized use of funds belonging to a local VFW Post between December 2013 and February 2018. Nista is facing up to five years in prison on these charges.
Serving as the Quartermaster for VFW Post 1333, District No. 6 in Asbury Park, Nista was responsible for managing the Post funds on a day to day basis and was allowed to disburse funds only as approved by Post membership.
The Post finances are overseen by three elected trustees who are required to conduct a quarterly audit of the Post books and records, and file a quarterly report to be certified by the Post Commander. As Quartermaster, Nista was responsible for providing the records to support the audits.
According to law enforcement, Nista accessed Post funds for his own personal use between December 2013 and February 2018. He used unauthorized credit cards issued to the Post for personal expenses in several locations throughout Monmouth County, made unauthorized cash withdrawals from bank accounts held in the Post’s name, and wrote unauthorized checks to himself from Post accounts to be deposited into his own personal bank account.
Law enforcement estimates that Nista made away with $21,500 through credit cards, cash obtained through ATM withdrawals, and checks. In addition, Nista forged the signature of one of the three elected Post Trustees, R.K., on two separate quarterly reports in 2016.
Anyone with more information related to this case is urged to contact Monmouth County Detective Sergeant Kevin Mahoney or Detective Melissa Ocasio at 800-533-7443.