SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief James Parker of the South Plainfield Police Department announced today that a New York man has been charged for his involvement in a grandparent scam.
On January 27, 2021, Albert Peralta-Munoz, 22, of the Bronx was arrested and charged via a complaint-summons with second-degree Use of a Juvenile to Commit a Crime, third-degree Theft by Deception, and third-degree Conspiracy.
Peralta-Munoz was charged along with a juvenile following an investigation by the South Plainfield Police that determined, at approximately 11:30 A.M., a borough resident received a phone call from an individual who demanded $6,500.00 for release of the resident’s grandchild from jail. Peralta-Munoz and the juvenile were later arrested as they attempted to collect the money from the victim.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Garret Cassio at (908) 226-7662 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Detective Peter Hlavka (908) 226-7661 / email@example.com.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Peralta-Munoz and the juvenile are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Middlesex County man with an Englishtown-based accounting firm is charged with stealing about $385,000 in tax payments from a wholesale distributor now based in South Carolina, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
William A. Berry, of South Plainfield, was arrested and charged Tuesday with second degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition. Berry was arrested with assistance from the Englishtown Police Department following a 10-month investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
If convicted, Berry faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison.
Berry, who will be 49 years old next week, is the owner of William Berry & Associates, an accounting and tax preparation business in Englishtown. The investigation found Berry stole funds in the aggregate amount of $385,000 for his personal use from the victims between March 2017 and July 2019. The investigation revealed Berry received funds from the victims’ personal and business banking accounts for the purposes of remitting federal and state quarterly taxes on behalf of the victims. In turn, Berry failed to remit tax payments to the proper tax collecting authorities.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted in December 2019 by a civil attorney for victims, the owners of a multi-million-dollar wholesaler distribution company that specializes in holiday décor currently based in Charleston, South Carolina.
The victims, former New Jersey residents, were subsequently contacted by law enforcement and reported hiring Berry to file and remit corporate taxes for their business after their former accountant retired. The victims reported having previous business dealings with Berry at his Englishtown-based practice. The investigation revealed Berry corresponded with the victims to advise them of the amounts to be remitted to the federal and state tax collection authorities on a quarterly basis. The victims sent funds between March 2017 through July 2019 at the direction of Berry, from their Bank of America accounts to a Wells Fargo bank account held in the name of William Berry and Associates. The victims received subsequent notifications from the State of South Carolina and the Internal Revenue Service for failure to file and remit taxes for the years 2017 and 2018.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for attempting to set fire to a marked police vehicle in Trenton after a demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Justin Spry, 21, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, was arrested by special agents of the FBI and is charged by complaint with one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance, and one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle used in and affecting interstate commerce. Spry will make his initial appearance June 3, 2020, by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
“The conduct described in the criminal complaint demonstrates a deliberate effort to destroy a police vehicle during a demonstration,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “Our office will not hesitate to bring to justice anyone who engages in this kind of destruction. We will work with our law enforcement partners to find these violent perpetrators and charge them appropriately.”
According to the complaint:
On May 31, 2020, large-scale protests were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020, while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Although the May 31 protest in Trenton began peacefully, violence erupted later in the day. A group of individuals proceeded along East State Street in downtown Trenton and began to smash store fronts, loot businesses, and attack marked Trenton Police Department vehicles parked along East State Street.
A street camera recorded Spry and another individual attempt to stuff a piece of cloth into the gas tank of a marked police vehicle and ignite it. Law enforcement officers on scene observed Spry as he attempted to ignite the vehicle. Spry noticed the officers and attempted to flee, but was arrested. Both counts charged in the criminal complaint carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, as well as special agents of the FBI’s Hamilton Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.