A retired Hoboken police officer living in Highlands is accused of using a vacant house in the borough to collect almost $23,000 in federal aid connected to Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

Martin Kiely
Martin Kiely (Monmouth Ocean Prosecutor's Office)

Martin Kiely, 59, is charged with two third-degree counts of theft by deception, according to information from the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.

County investigators and federal Homeland Security agents probing the case say that Kiely owns the storm-battered house on Fifth Street for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid twice - but  that it's been vacant and without electricity since 2004, and his primary house is on Shore Drive.

According to investigators, Kiely presented the house as the primary residence for him and his two children after Hurricane Irene in 2011, leading to an award of about $19,000 from FEMA.

The house sustained additional damage during Sandy, prompting a second filing and an additional $3,000 in funds, investigators said.

If convicted, Kiely risks three to five years in prison for each of the two counts.

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