PACIFIC OCEAN U.S. Navy Seaman Jamil Kelly, from Mt. Holly, N.J., uses an alidade on a bridge wing of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) Feb. 2, 2021. John Finn, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward deployed fleet, with its approximate 50-70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and 20,000 Sailors in the area of operations at any given time, 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific area of operations to foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict alongside 35 other maritime nations and partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Waite)
A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted stealing more than $350,000 from a special needs trust, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Eugene Young, 69, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
A special needs trust was established to provide for the supplemental care, maintenance, support, and education of a disabled individual and, in December 2017, had more than $1 million in assets in two bank accounts. In December 2017, Young caused the trust’s trustee, a senior citizen, to execute a power of attorney appointing him as the trustee’s agent.
Young used the power of attorney to gain access to the trust’s bank accounts and, between December 2017 and June 2019, used a variety of means to divert funds from the trust. Young used a debit card associated with the bank accounts to make more than 650 purchases and approximately 200 ATM withdrawals. He also wrote checks from the accounts to himself, made other withdrawals from the accounts, and cashed portions of annuity checks that were the property of the trust. The funds were not used for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiary, as required by the terms of the trust, but rather for Young’s personal use. Young misappropriated more than $350,000 from the trust before his scheme was discovered.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss to others, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, special agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden
NEWARK, NJ –An Ohio man who was out on bail for allegedly committing a bank robbery in the Chicago area and who is charged in New Jersey with seven bank robberies or attempted bank robberies will make his initial court appearance by videoconference today, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Tyler O’Toole, 23, of Cleveland, Ohio, was arrested in Queens, New York, on November 14, 2020. He is charged by complaint sworn out in the District of New Jersey on Nov. 4, 2020, with five counts of bank robbery and two counts of attempted bank robbery and is scheduled to have his initial appearance by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
O’Toole was arrested in Glenview, Illinois, on Aug. 20, 2020, and charged in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois with bank robbery. O’Toole was released on bail and placed on home detention with electronic location monitoring.
On Sept. 24, 2020, O’Toole removed his monitoring device, stole his mother’s blue 2018 Hyundai Elantra, and drove away. He later robbed, or attempted to rob, the following New Jersey banks:
Date Bank Location:
Oct. 8, 2020
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Oct. 8, 2020
Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Oct. 22, 2020
Aberdeen, New Jersey
Oct. 22, 2020
Bank of America
East Windsor, New Jersey
Oct. 27, 2020
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Oct. 27, 2020
Mount Holly, New Jersey
Oct. 30, 2020
Runnemede, New Jersey
*attempted bank robbery
At each bank, O’Toole presented a note demanding cash from bank tellers. For example, during the Oct. 27, 2020, robbery of the Chase Bank in Lawrence Township, O’Toole handed the teller a manila envelope which stated:
• This is a robbery. Comply and Nobody gets hurt. • Give me 20’s 50’s 100’s • NO Trackers or Ink Packs • Put Money in THIS Envelope • Be fast, Act Normal
Each bank robbery or attempted bank robbery charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes/Interstate Theft Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the FBI’s Westchester, County, New York Safe Streets Task Force; the Camden County, Monmouth County and Morris County prosecutor’s offices; and the Morris Plains Boro, Pompton Plains, Aberdeen Township, East Windsor Township, Lawrence Township, Mount Holly Township, Runnemede Borough, Medford, and Gloucester Township police departments for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER)–According a source close to the investigation a bank robbery occurred at the Mercer Mall, Chase Bank inside Shop Ride on Route 1. The source also stated that there were possibly related robberies in Mount Holly, Burlington County. It was said that the perpetrator was driving a blue car with Texas temporary plates. The source also stated it is believed that this is the 5th robbery by the same suspect recently.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Riverside Township Police Chief William T. Eliason announced that a New York developer who purchased a historic Riverside commercial building to create luxury apartments in the seven-story landmark has been charged with using the credentials of a potential subcontractor to fraudulently gain approval for electrical permits from the township construction office.
Raphael S. Weiss, 60, of East 18th Street in Brooklyn, was charged with Computer Criminal Activity (Second Degree), Impersonation (Second Degree), 36 counts of Forgery/Making (Third Degree), and 36 counts of Forgery/Uttering (Third Degree).
He was taken into custody this morning at the Riverside Township municipal building and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a hearing in Superior Court. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
The investigation began after a contractor who was negotiating with Weiss to be the electrician of record on the Keystone Watch Case Co. redevelopment project noticed that electrical work had begun at the North Pavilion Avenue site, even though no formal agreement had been finalized and he had not applied for any permits.
After being denied access to the construction site by Weiss, the electrician went to the township construction office and was told that 36 permits had already been issued in his name and in the name of his business for work to be done at the property. Further examination revealed that the electrician’s signature had been forged on the permits, which were applied for by Weiss, and a counterfeit version of the contractor’s state-issued embossing seal had been used to make an imprint.
It is alleged that Weiss initiated the scheme as a way to reduce construction costs by fraudulently utilizing the credentials of the licensed electrician to obtain the necessary permits, then hiring unlicensed, unqualified laborers to complete the work at a much less expensive rate.
Not only was the action illegal, but it also jeopardized the safety of the project, as demonstrated by the fact that the electrical work completed after the fraudulent permits were obtained failed to pass inspection.
The Keystone Watch Case Co. building was constructed in 1908 and manufactured gold cases for watches. The company employed more than 1,000 employees in 1918, making it the largest watch case manufacturer in the world. The business was treasured as a strong engine in the local economy, with many employees living close enough to walk to work.
The company closed in 1956, and the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was purchased in 2016 by Brooklyn-based SimShabs Capital Partners LTD, of which Weiss is owner and president.
The plans submitted by Weiss to Riverside Township indicated that the iconic landmark, which has a prominent, highly visible clock tower rising above the roofline, would be converted into 64 luxury apartments.
“This is a heartbreaking setback for Riverside officials who for years have been working to jumpstart a renaissance in their township, with this property as the centerpiece,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “This defendant has dimmed the hopes of an entire town by his selfish actions for illegal, personal financial gain, and he will face strong penalties as a result.”
Weiss will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit.
The investigation, which remains active, is being conducted by detectives from the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit and the Riverside Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Nicholas Schieber and Riverside Lt. Louis Fisher.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
MIDDLETOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The National Weather Service Burlington-Mount Holly has confirmed an EF0 tornado that touched down yesterday in Middletown Township, Monmouth County in the Lincroft section of town. The tornado touched down at Brookdale Community College at the baseball field, a set of bleachers were tossed. The tornado then crossed Phalanx Road and into a residential area damaging trees that fell on homes and causing damage. See full NWS statement below:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
1108 AM EDT THU AUG 20 2020
...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 08/19/20 TORNADO EVENT...
START LOCATION...LINCROFT IN MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ
END LOCATION...LINCROFT IN MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ
DATE...AUGUST 19, 2020
ESTIMATED TIME...9:57 TO 9:59 AM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF0
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...80 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...70 YARDS
PATH LENGTH...1.21 MILES
A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ON A BASEBALL FIELD ON THE CAMPUS OF
BROOKDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN THE LINCROFT SECTION OF MIDDLETOWN
TOWNSHIP IN MONMOUTH COUNTY, NEW JERSEY. IT TOSSED A SET OF METAL
BLEACHERS ADJACENT TO THE FIELD, THEN CROSSED OVER PHALANX ROAD INTO
A RESIDENTIAL AREA, WITH NUMEROUS TREES SUSTAINING DAMAGE ON AND
AROUND HICKORY LANE. TREE DAMAGE MAINLY CONSISTED OF BROKEN LIMBS
AND THE SNAPPING OF SOME TREES NEAR THEIR TOPS. AT LEAST ONE TREE
WAS ALSO UPROOTED IN THIS AREA. THE TORNADO CONTINUED A LITTLE SOUTH
OF DUE EAST AND PASSED NEAR THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE SWIMMING
RIVER RESERVOIR, CAUSING ADDITIONAL TREE DAMAGE. THE TORNADO THEN
ENTERED ANOTHER RESIDENTIAL AREA NEAR SWIMMING RIVER ROAD AND
NORMANDY ROAD, PRODUCING A CONTINUED PATH OF DAMAGED TREES. THE
TORNADO LIFTED AS IT ENTERED THE RIVERDALE WEST PARK, WHERE TREE
DAMAGE WAS NO LONGER OBSERVED. THE TORNADO DID NOT APPEAR TO CAUSE
ANY DIRECT STRUCTURAL DAMAGE, THOUGH A COUPLE OF HOMES SUSTAINED
DAMAGE FROM FALLING TREE DEBRIS. THE DEGREE OF DAMAGE IS CONSISTENT
WITH AN EF0 TORNADO WITH ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS OF 80 MPH AND A
CONTINUOUS, RELATIVELY NARROW PATH OF AROUND 70 YARDS IN WIDTH.
THANKFULLY, NO INJURIES OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF THIS TORNADO.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MONMOUTH COUNTY
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE, AND LOCAL
OFFICIALS WITH MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THIS
SURVEY. THESE CONCLUSIONS ARE PRELIMINARY AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
SHOULD ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COME TO OUR ATTENTION.
EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE
EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS