Jewel Thief Sentenced For Parole Violation

A former Extension School student, sentenced in December to five years in prison for stealing $50,000 worth of gems from a Harvard museum, received another five-year term Friday for violating a previous parole agreement.

James A. Hogue, who defrauded Princeton University out of $21,000 in financial aid money by posing as an undergraduate, violated his parole agreement by moving to Somerville in 1992, a New Jersey judge ruled.

Mercer County, N.J. Superior Court JudgePaulette Sapp-Peterson said Friday that Hogue hadnot received permission to leave the state whileon parole for defrauding Princeton. The judge saidHogue's criminal history evidences a cavalierdisregard for the law.

"The need for incarceration is significant,"Sapp-Peterson said. "Not because [Hogue isviolent] but because this is an individual who hasabsolutely no respect for the balance of the law."

While living in Somerville, Hogue enrolled atthe Extension School and took a class onmineralogy. He worked for approximately ninemonths as a part-time cataloguer at the HarvardMineralogical Museum.

In the course of his employment, Hogue smuggleda cache of gold, silver, rubies, opals and morethan 100 other precious and non-precious gems andminerals to his apartment at One Marion St. inSomerville.

Hogue plead guilty to one count of larcenygreater than $250 and was sentenced to serve threeto five years in the Cedar Junction prison inWalpole, Mass. Hogue is scheduled to be paroled inone year, with the rest of the sentence suspended.

During last week's legal proceedings, Hogue'slawyer, Robert Obler, argued unsuccessfully thathis client had sent a letter to his parole officeseeking permission to move to Massachusetts. Butthe judge said Hogue had already left New Jerseyby the time the letter was sent. Hogue has 45 daysto appeal the sentence.

Mercer County prosecutors also charged thatHogue had failed to repay Princeton or serve 100hours of community service, other conditionsrequired by his parole agreement.

In early 1991, Princeton officials learned that21 year-old sophomore Alexi Indris-Santana,described on admission forms as a self-educatedranch hand, was really Hogue, a then-31-year-oldwanted for parole violations on stolen propertycharges in Utah.

In 1992, Hogue and the Mercer Countyprosecutor's office worked out a plea arrangementconcerning the Princeton case. Hogue would pleadguilty to theft by deception for collecting$21,124 in Princeton funds. In return, prosecutorswould recommend five years' probation, no morethan 270 days in jail, 100 hours of communityservice and full restitution of the Princetonmoney.

Material from the Associated Press was usedin this report.