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4th Case Associated with Measles Outbreak in Ocean County

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, The New Jersey Department of Health is warning residents that a 4th case of measles — a highly contagious disease — has been confirmed in Ocean County. This individual could have exposed others to the infection while in Ocean County on October 31.

Anyone who visited CHEMED Health Center, 1771 Madison Ave, Lakewood, NJ 08701 on October 31 between 8:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. may have been exposed to measles.

Continue reading 4th Case Associated with Measles Outbreak in Ocean County

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Ocean County Lawyer Who Hosted Radio Show on Elder Law Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions of Dollars from Elderly Clients

July 29,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a prominent Ocean County attorney who hosted a radio show and taught seminars on elder law pleaded guilty today to stealing millions of dollars from elderly clients of his law firm and laundering the money through various bank accounts, including his attorney trust and business accounts. The victims generally did not have close relatives to guard their interests and in some cases suffered from dementia.

Robert Novy, 66, of Brick, N.J., pleaded guilty today to first-degree money laundering before Superior Court Judge Michael T. Collins in Ocean County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Novy be sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including three years and four months of parole ineligibility. In pleading guilty, Novy admitted that he stole millions of dollars from law clients. The state’s investigation revealed that he stole nearly $3 million from at least two dozen victims.  Novy is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28.

Novy must pay restitution to his victims out of two funds totaling $4 million that are being created using assets previously seized from him by the state: one fund of $3 million to provide restitution to client victims, heirs, estates and trusts already identified through the state’s investigation, and a second fund of $1 million to provide restitution, with court approval, for others not previously identified who come forward with proof that they were victims of thefts.  Novy also must surrender his license to practice law in New Jersey and pay $500,000 to the state as an anti-money laundering profiteering penalty.

Deputy Attorneys General Peter Gallagher and William Conlow prosecuted Novy and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, assisted by the New Jersey Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation.

As an expert in elder law, Novy hosted a bi-monthly radio program “Inside the Law,” focusing on topics of concern to senior citizens. He was arrested on Oct. 18, 2016.  Detectives executed a search warrant at the time at his firm, Novy & Associates, on Ridgeway Avenue in Manchester, seizing billing records and other evidence. The Attorney General’s Office obtained court orders freezing over $4 million in assets held by Novy and his firm and appointing a trustee to oversee the firm’s business operations.

“By exploiting elderly clients and stealing their life savings, Novy sank to the lowest levels of greed, dishonesty, and callousness,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This guilty plea serves justice by ensuring that Novy will face a substantial prison sentence and that his victims will receive restitution from assets already seized from him by the Division of Criminal Justice.”

“A fundamental concern in this case was to secure restitution for Novy’s many victims, including his elderly clients and the heirs and beneficiaries who had millions of dollars stolen from them,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice.  “Through this guilty plea, we have achieved that goal and have sent a strong message that lawyers and others who hold positions of trust will be held accountable if they betray that trust and steal from those who are vulnerable.”

The case was referred to the Division of Criminal Justice by Ocean County Surrogate Jeffrey W. Moran. Novy also was investigated by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics, which issued an ethics complaint against him on Jan. 26, 2016, and assisted the Division of Criminal Justice.

The investigation revealed that Novy stole funds from elderly and deceased clients who often did not have a close relative to claim their estate or challenge Novy’s actions.  He used the stolen funds for his own benefit, paying personal and business expenses.  Novy gained control through wills, powers of attorney, and trust documents, making himself the sole financial decision-maker for the clients. When clients had sizeable assets in the form of an annuity or life insurance policy, Novy directed insurance companies to redeem the policies and send the money directly to him. In some cases, when challenged by trustees or relatives about particular funds that had been withdrawn from client accounts, Novy claimed they were “administrative errors” and repaid the funds.

The Division of Criminal Justice obtained a state grand jury indictment on April 30, 2018 charging that Novy engaged in three different schemes by which he stole funds from clients:

  1. In one scheme, Novy simply transferred funds from his clients’ personal bank accounts or from his clients’ liquidated personal assets into his own bank account.
  2. In the second scheme, Novy transferred funds from his clients’ personal accounts or liquidated assets into IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Account) sub-accounts that he controlled.  The powers of attorney executed by the victims legally required Novy to place their assets into independent trust funds selected by the victims that would manage their assets, so the act of placing the funds into accounts that he controlled constituted a theft by Novy.
  3. In the third scheme, Novy transferred client funds from various accounts – including the clients’ personal accounts, the clients’ IOLTA sub-accounts, or the firm’s attorney trust account – into the firm’s operating and disbursement accounts.  Novy excessively billed the clients for power of attorney fees without any supporting invoices.

Novy was charged with money laundering because he engaged in transactions involving the stolen funds and the various accounts – primarily his attorney trust accounts and/or attorney business accounts – by which he concealed the source of the stolen funds and used them to promote his criminal activities.

Deputy Attorneys General Gallagher and Conlow prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Mark Kurzawa and Deputy Division Director Christine Hoffman. The case was investigated by Detective Michael Arduini, Detective Michael Woods, Lt. Anne Hayes, Investigator Jordan Thompson, Investigator Wayne Cummings and Analyst Terri Drumm.  Deputy Attorney General Derek Miller and Investigator Debra Maiorano handled the state’s forfeiture action. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Ocean County Surrogate, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics and the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation for their valuable assistance in the investigation. Special Agents Mike Mullane and Will Makar investigated for the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation.

Persons, relatives, heirs, estates or trusts who believe they are victims of Novy and can offer proof of damages should write to Deputy Attorney General Kara R. Webster in the State Office of Victim Witness Advocacy at [email protected], or if they do not have email access, phone (609) 376-2444.

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“Operation Statewide,”Nabs Ocean County Man With Over 36,000 Files of Child Pornography

 

July 12,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an Ocean County man who had over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography on his computer devices was sentenced today to state prison. He was one of 40 men arrested in 2016 in “Operation Statewide,” a child pornography sweep by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies.
Anthony White, 31, of Lakewood, N.J., was sentenced today to six years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter in Ocean County. He pleaded guilty on March 6 to second-degree charges of distributing child pornography and attempting to manufacture child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks prosecuted White and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.

In pleading guilty, White admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make 25 or more files of child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer. He further admitted in connection with the attempted manufacturing charge that he tried to reproduce images of child pornography that he previously downloaded. While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) downloaded 38 videos and images of child pornography from a shared folder at a computer IP address later traced to White. White was arrested on July 20, 2016, when members of the DTIU and State Police TEAMS Unit executed a search warrant at his home and seized computer devices, including a desktop computer. A forensic preview of the devices revealed over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography, one of the largest collections of child pornography ever seized by law enforcement in New Jersey.

“We are working hard through our proactive online investigations to banish the offensive notion that viewing child pornography is somehow a victimless crime,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Tens of thousands of children were cruelly abused to create the videos and images in White’s collection, and he exploited and re-victimized those children by his actions.”

“By sending defendants like White to prison, we deliver the message that possessing and distributing child pornography are very serious crimes – crimes that create a market for the terrible abuse of innocent children,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This prison sentence reflects our determination to prosecute these offenders aggressively using New Jersey’s tough child pornography laws.”
“People like Anthony White care more about getting caught than they do about the innocent children who are subjected to the horrific abuses portrayed in the videos they willingly share on the internet,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “As a result of the great work by our troopers and law enforcement partners, White will remain under parole supervision for life after he serves his prison sentence.”

Operation Statewide was a 2016 multi-agency child pornography sweep coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as lead agency for the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The operation resulted in arrests of 40 men, including defendants in every county of New Jersey. During the operation, investigators monitored Peer to Peer, or P2P, file-sharing networks popular with child pornography offenders. Such networks play a major role in the distribution of child pornography, functioning in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Because videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them. Law enforcement has cataloged a large number of these images and videos, and the electronic files can be traced in various ways. During Operation Statewide, detectives downloaded child pornography that defendants offered from shared folders on their computers, tracing the files to their point of origin.
Attorney General Grewal commended the detectives of the New Jersey State Police DTIU and members of the other agencies in the New Jersey ICAC Task Force who conducted Operation Statewide, as well as the attorneys who participated in the investigations and are prosecuting the resulting cases.

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.