According to authorities, the fraud and theft crimes were committed in 2010. The two suspects, a 54-year-old male and his 84-year-old father, allegedly gained access to the money by convincing the 69-year-old victim to give them control of her savings.
The 54-year-old suspect became friends with the victim after her husband died in 2007. The suspect later became her financial advisor. Prosecutors said that the suspect targeted the victim for the fraud because she had no family residing in the area.
In 2010, the suspect managed to convince the victim to give him control of an annuity. He then used the annuity funds to pay off a loan on his father’s house in Pine Brook, NJ. Additionally, the suspect took nearly $7,000 of the victim’s money and put it in his business account.
A lawyer for the victim learned about the fraud in 2012 when the victim moved from her home into an assisted living facility.
The suspects, who resided in Toms River NJ and Hamptons Bay NY, were later arrested and charged with theft by deception. They pleaded guilty to the theft by deception charges in June 2015.
The younger suspect has now been sentenced to 5 years in NJ State Prison, while the older suspect has been sentenced to 2 years in NJ State Prison.
Moreover, both suspects had to pay back all of the money that they took from the victim.
The NJ Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor recently released a statement announcing the suspects’ sentences and cautioning NJ senior citizens to involve “family and friends to guide them through managing their retirement” in order to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous individuals.
For additional information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Father, Son Who Stole from Elderly Bergen Widow Sentenced.”