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New Jersey Businessman Admits Stealing $100,000 Worth Of Water

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- And you thought Evian was expensive.

A New Jersey businessman has admitted his role in a conspiracy to steal $100,000 in water, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Nicholas Vene, 43, of Holmdel, pleaded guilty in Newark Federal Court on Monday.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Vene, who owns Reliable Wood Products, and others diverted the water flowing from a Jersey City water pipe away from the water meter, WCBS 880 reported.

United Water New Jersey was responsible for collecting payment for water used by residents and businesses in Jersey City, and Vene's actions resulted in United Water obtaining a false calculation of the volume of water used, Fishman said.

In 2012, Vene mailed monthly payments by check to the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority that did not cover the actual cost of water used by Reliable Wood and defrauded the JCMUA of at least $100,000, Fishman said.

If he is convicted of a conspiracy charge, he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2015.

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