MIDDLESEX BOROUGH — The borough's former Democratic mayor is facing as many as seven years in prison after pleading to guilty to charges of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from political campaigns.

Ronald J. DiMura, whose term ended in December after losing a re-election bid, was charged earlier this year with stealing $190,000 from 2013 to June 2019 from the campaign committees for which he served as treasurer. Prosecutors said he deposited the money into his personal bank accounts while claiming that he was making charitable donations.

He was also accused of stealing more than $75,000 from investors in a pyramid scheme as well as asking a developer that was doing business with the borough to make a $10,000 donation to a charity, which he pocketed. Prosecutors said he filed a false or incomplete Local Government Ethics Law financial disclosure statement that didn't report the funds.

DiMura was investigated by the state Attorney General's Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, which had been tipped off by the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

“DiMura exploited his position as mayor and his role as a local party leader for his personal gain, betraying borough residents and party members who placed their trust in him,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Thursday in a written statement. “I formed the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability to ensure, among other things, that public officials are held accountable if they abuse their power. This guilty plea reflects our commitment to that mission.”

On Thursday, the 64-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing more than $75,000. As part of his plea deal, he will have to pay back $83,372 and forfeit the rest of the funds that he stole.

He is expected to be sentenced in Superior Court in New Brunswick on Jan. 15.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.