Bergen County Widow a Victim of Theft by Deception, Suspects Sentenced to NJ State Prison
Two men were sentenced to prison time for stealing $175,000 from a widow in Bergen County, New Jersey.
According to officials, the suspects committed the fraud and theft offenses in 2010. The two suspects, a 54-year-old man and his 84-year-old dad, were reportedly able to gain access to the 69-year-old victim’s funds by convincing her to cede control of her savings.
The 54-year-old suspect and the victim became friends after the victim’s husband passed away in 2007. At some point, the suspect became the victim’s financial advisor. Since the victim did not have any family living in the area, she was reportedly a prime target for the suspect.
In 2010, the suspect persuaded the victim to hand over control of an annuity. He then took funds from the annuity and used them to pay off a loan on his dad’s house in Pine Brook, New Jersey. The suspect also stole almost $7,000 of the victim’s money and deposited the funds in his business account.
A lawyer doing work on behalf of the victim discovered the fraud in 2012 when the victim changed residences and moved into an assisted living facility.
After an investigation by prosecutors, the suspects were placed under arrest and charged with theft by deception. In June 2015, the suspects pleaded guilty to the theft by deception charges.
Now the younger suspect has been sentenced to serve 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, while the suspect’s father has been sentenced to serve a term of 2 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Additionally, both suspects were ordered by the court to pay back all of the stolen money.
The NJ Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor issued a statement announcing the suspects’ sentences and advising NJ senior citizens to take steps to protect themselves against fraud by involving “family and friends to guide them through managing their retirement.”
For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Father, Son Who Stole from Elderly Bergen Widow Sentenced.”