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Fort Lee Insurance Broker Admits Health Care Fraud

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Fort Lee NJ, An insurance broker with an office in Fort Lee, New Jersey, today admitted defrauding Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Lawrence Ackerman, 54, a resident of Old Tappan, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of health care fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ackerman was the chief operating officer of Atlantic Business Associates (ABA) and Atlantic Medical Associates (AMA), two “shell” companies through which he marketed health insurance nationally to people who were not his employees and therefore ineligible for health coverage. During the month of January 2011, he delivered $481,500 in health care benefits to ineligible participants.

The count of health care fraud to which Ackerman pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Ackerman was originally charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to defraud Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of $5.6 million and the welfare fund of Local 2326 of $1 million in fraudulent health care claims. Under terms of the plea agreement, Ackerman will be responsible for making full restitution to Horizon and to the union’s benefit plan for their losses. Sentencing is scheduled for March 20, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Mikulka; agents of the Office of Employee Benefit Security Act (EBSA), under the direction of Regional Director Darren Cohen; and agents of the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), under the supervision of Regional Director Andriana Vamvakas.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the Narcotics/OCDETF unit in Newark.

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Bergen Man Arrested for Attempted Armed Robbery

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Westwood NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of DUSTIN VAN RIPER (DOB: 12/22/1995; single; unemployed) of 150 Sunset Lane, Old Tappan NJ on charges of Attempted Armed Burglary, Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, and Resisting Arrest in Old Tappan, NJ; as well as Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose and Resisting Arrest in Westwood, NJ. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti.

On Friday, December 7, 2018, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office received information that Dustin VAN RIPER attempted to break into a residence in Old Tappan, NJ and then fled the scene after the Old Tappan Police arrived at the scene. After fleeing the scene, VAN RIPER was located in the backyard of 201 Mill Street, Westwood, NJ, holding a weapon. When officers from the Westwood Police Department approached VAN RIPER, he disregarded their instructions to drop the weapon. A Westwood Police Officer fired one shot from the officer’s service weapon in the direction of VAN RIPER. VAN RIPER was not struck by the gunshot. VAN RIPER immediately dropped the weapon, and the Westwood Police Department placed him into custody.

As a result of the investigation, Dustin VAN RIPER was arrested on Friday, December 7, 2018, by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and charged with the following offenses for conduct that occurred in Old Tappan: one count of Attempted Armed Burglary, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1/2C:18-2b, a 2nd degree crime; one count of Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4D, a 3rd degree crime; and one count of Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a, a 4th degree crime. For conduct that occurred in Westwood, VAN RIPER was charged with one count of Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4A-1, a 2nd degree crime; and one count of Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2A-3b, a 3rd degree crime.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance with this investigation.

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Ridgewood High School Ranked Number 7 in the Niche 2019 Best Teachers in Bergen County

RHS

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Niche ranked the best teachers serving in Bergen County . Ranking based on student and parent ratings of teachers, teacher salaries, teacher absenteeism, teacher tenure, student-teacher ratio, and the Niche Academics Grade for the school.

The 2019 High Schools with the Best Teachers ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and teacher data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and parents. Ridgewood High School came in #7 in the county , just ahead of Pascack Hills #8, Glen Rock #9 and Mahwah #10, but behind Bergen County Academies #1, Northern Highlands #2, Bergen County Technical #3 , Fairlawn #4 ,Northern Valley Demarest #5 , and Northern Valley Old Tappan #6 .

https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-teachers-public-high-schools/c/bergen-county-nj/

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Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

photo courtesy of the NEA

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The state Department of Education recently released its annual Taxpayer’s Guide to Education Spending for 2018, which shows the median salary in every New Jersey school district and charter school.

Continue reading Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

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Ridgewood Football Coach Chuck Johnson set to start his 35th season

RHS football

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,Ridgewood Football Coach Chuck Johnson,is set to start his 35th season , looking to improve on last years 8-3 record , with a loss in North 1 Group 5 semifinals and an overall team ranking # 9.

Continue reading Ridgewood Football Coach Chuck Johnson set to start his 35th season

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New Jersey Bureau of Securities Fines Bergen County Man for Defrauding Investors and Spending Their Funds on Food, Drink, Limos and a “Gentlemen’s Club”

stripper

May 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, The New Jersey Bureau of Securities today ordered a Bergen County man and his company to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for selling unregistered fraudulent securities and misusing at least $82,000 of investors’ funds on steak dinners, limousine service, visits to a “gentlemen’s club,” and other personal expenses.

Eric J. Bruno, of River Vale, and his company Mirakill Brands, LLC, (“Mirakill”) misled at least eight investors – including at least seven from New Jersey – into buying unregistered securities in the form of membership interests and warrants to buy membership interests in Mirakill. Bruno represented Mirakill to investors as a start-up business that would be developing an antimicrobial agent for industrial use.

In a Summary Order issued today, Christopher W. Gerold, Chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, found that from at least July 2013 to June 2014, Bruno and Mirakill fraudulently raised approximately $137,000 from investors by falsely claiming that the money they invested would be used to bankroll the Mirakill venture, including securing office space; paying salaries and professional fees; funding research and development; and purchasing production materials and packaging.

“Investors thought they were getting in on the ground floor of a legitimate business venture and that they would profit from its success. Instead their money was used to finance Eric Bruno’s lavish lifestyle,” said Attorney General Grewal. “New Jersey has laws to protect investors from such predatory tactics and we will vigorously enforce them to hold violators like Bruno accountable for their actions.”
Mirakill was a Nevada limited liability company formed in July 2013 and dissolved in June 2014, with offices located in Old Tappan, NJ. Bruno controlled Mirakill through his ownership of another entity he created in connection with his scam.

Bruno and Mirakill, through Bruno, represented to investors that Mirakill was a start-up business that would be developing an improved, proprietary antimicrobial additive to prevent the growth of harmful microorganismswith industrial uses, including plastics, paints, and filters (the “Mirakill Product.”) They also represented to investors in marketing materials that included a private placement memorandum that investment funds would be used for business purposes.

In the fall of 2013 Bruno, along with two other officers of Mirakill, held an event for prospective Mirakill investors. During the event, Bruno provided the 30 to 40 attendees with an overview of the Mirakill Product and its potential applications, and discussed the amount of funds that would be required to bring the product to market. After the event, several of the attendees purchased the Mirakill Securities.
The investors were provided the Mirakill private placement memo describing the Mirakill Securities, the nature of Mirakill’s business, risks, executives, consultants, projected revenues, use of funds, and other material information that would be helpful to investors. The private placement memorandum led investors to believe that their funds would be used for legitimate business purposes, and did not disclose that Bruno would use the money for his own extravagant personal expenses instead.

“Investors received documents that lent a patina of legitimacy to Bruno’s scam and helped convince them that he and the investment were on the up and up,” said Kevin Jespersen, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “In reality, Bruno was not registered with the Bureau as an agent of Mirakill, and the Mirakill Securities were not registered to be offered for sale in this state, as required.”
As president of Mirakill, Bruno countersigned investors’ purchase agreements. He also personally met with certain investors, received and deposited investment checks, and received wire transfers into the company’s accounts, which he controlled.

Bruno then misused at least $82,000 of investor funds for personal expenses that included cash withdrawals at ATMs and banks ($46,000), debit card charges at grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants ($20,000), debit charges at a New York strip club ($8,800), and limousine services ($2,300.)

“Bruno was living high on the hog at the expense of the investors he fleeced,” said Bureau Chief Gerold. “This case is a prime example of why the Bureau of Securities strongly recommends that investors verify and review the registration records of anyone claiming to be an investment professional or a seller of securities before handing over any money.”

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Ridgewood School Rankings ,the Good ,the Bad and the Ugly

tradition of excellence

US NEWS STATE of NJ RANK:
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Eleven (not even the TOP 11 BTW) of the top 25 on the list are magnet or Vocational schools (which is not “more than half the top 25” but I guess math is hard for you)
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Also these PUBLIC (non-magnet) Schools are ranked AHEAD of Ridgewood:
#5 – Elizabeth High School
#6 – Princeton High School
#7 – Chatham High School
#10 West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North
#11 – Livingston High School
#12 – Summit Senior High School
#13 – Millburn High School
#14 – Glen Ridge High School
#15 – Ridge High School, Basking Ridge
#18 – West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
#19 – Mountain Lakes High School
#20 – Tenafly High School
#23 – Northern Highlands Regional High School
#25 – Montgomery High School
#26 – Ridgewood High School
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US NEWS NATIONAL RANK:
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RIDGEWOOD IS RANKED #583 (almost below 600) in NATIONAL Rank
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US NEWS COLLEGE READINESS (arguably the most important ranking)
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RIDGEWOOD HAS A 53.6% COLLEGE READINESS rating (barely half of the students graduate as ready for college).
.
.
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———————————
STATE OF NJ’s OWN SCHOOL RANKINGS
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You are also ignoring that THE STATE OF NJ ranked Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
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Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13

(the top twelve on the NJ State list are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
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Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
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#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
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Then Ridgewood at #83
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But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
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—————————-
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No Matter how you look at the data, it IS NOT good news for Ridgewood.
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Reader asks Who is Responsible for the Dramatic Decline of Ridgewood Schools

My God… we’re not even better than Bergenfield? Waldwick? etc…
Maybe we need a bigger budget. How about $125 million and a goal to break into the top 75…
Bergenfield, Dumont, Ramapo… Those towns must have massive budgets

 

The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
Apologies for being off by 1 in the original post (was counting the “header row” by mistake)
.
Lets see how bad Ridgewood #83 ranking really is…
.
Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13
(the top twelve are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
.
Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
.
#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
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Then Ridgewood at #83
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But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
.
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Embarassing.
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But let’s approve the $110 Million budget.
It’s money well spent.
We’ll keep deluding ourselves that we have great schools.
It’s all part of the “Tradition of Excellence”

What a dramatic decline. Fishbein and Gorman should take responsibility for this. Who holds their feet to the fire? In the meantime parents are oblivious as long as they feel good about “the new leaders (their kids)” being “vocal” about national issues

 

 

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The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools

RHS 2017

The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
Apologies for being off by 1 in the original post (was counting the “header row” by mistake)
.
Lets see how bad Ridgewood #83 ranking really is…
.
Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13
(the top twelve are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
.
Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
.
#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
.
Then Ridgewood at #83
.
But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
.
.

Embarassing.
.
But let’s approve the $110 Million budget.
It’s money well spent.
We’ll keep deluding ourselves that we have great schools.
It’s all part of the “Tradition of Excellence”

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OLD TAPPAN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH STALKING, INVASION OF PRIVACY, CYBER-HARASSMENT & CONTEMPT

DANIEL G

December 5,2017

the staff pf the Ridgewood blog

Old Tappan NJ, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrest of DANIEL G. PFEIFFER (DOB: 6/13/89, single; and unemployed) of 12 Windsor Place, Old Tappan, New Jersey on charges of Stalking, Invasion of Privacy, Cyber-Harassment, and Contempt of a Stalking Restraining Order. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti.

In October 2017, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit initiated an investigation that revealed Daniel PFEIFFER posted nude and sexually explicit photos of a woman he was acquainted with on the Internet. Some of the postings included personal identifying information of the victim on the Internet.

As a result of the investigation, Daniel PFEIFFER was arrested on November 27, 2017 in Hackensack and charged with one count of Stalking, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10C, a third degree crime; Invasion of Privacy, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9C, a third degree crime; Cyber-Harassment, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1(A)2, a third degree crime; and Contempt of a Stalking Restraining Order, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9A, a fourth degree crime. PFEIFFER was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending his arraignment. PFEIFFER is scheduled to appear in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court for a first appearance on December 13, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Old Tappan Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.