By Charlotte Huffman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two former Atlantic County employees pled not
guilty Tuesday morning to charges of conspiracy, money laundering and
Van Holt and Price are part of a group of six who investigators say
conspired to steal $3.8 million dollars from at least 16 victims.
Others indicted in the case include Van Holt’s sister, Sondra Steen,
59, of Linwood; and Susan Hamlett, 56, of Egg Harbor Township.
Dr. Maria Teresa Daclan, 53, of Galloway Township was indicted for allegedly lying to a detective to protect Van Holt.
The sixth person, Barbara Lieberman is already behind bars. She
previously pled guilty and agreed to forfeit $3 million in restitution
and testify against the others accused.
In March, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael Donio called
Lieberman the “quarterback” of the ring of alleged scam artists and
sentenced her to ten years in prison.
The CBS Philly I-Team first exposed Lieberman during an I-Team exclusive special report last November.
Lieberman, of Northfield, was a court appointed guardian and leading specialist in elder law in Atlantic County.
Van Holt owned “A Better Choice,” a senior care company that offered
clients in-home services including “custom designed life care and legal
Steen and Hamlett worked for Van Holt’s company.
Investigators say the group posed as trustworthy caregivers who took
control of the finances of their victims by forging a power of attorney
or obtaining one on false pretenses, adding their names to the victims’
bank accounts or transferring the victims’ funds into new accounts they
Ultimately, investigators believe the group stole $3.8 million and
used the money to pay off six-digit credit card bills and buy things
like Lieberman’s new BMW and a luxury condo in Florida.
Investigators say Van Holt and Lieberman used their positions of trust within the county to identify their victims.
“Most of these people didn’t have the capacity to keep an eye on
their money and their assets so they were taken advantage of in that
way. They looked for people who were elderly and had assets,” said
Deputy Attorney General, Yvonne Maher who is handling the prosecution of
the defendants on behalf of the state’s Division of Criminal Justice.
Maher says Lieberman would recommend clients to Van Holt’s company and vice versa.
An investigation by New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal
Justice has revealed at least 16 victims. With the exception of one, all
of the victims are dead.
If you suspect that you or a family member have been victimized you
can call the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s tip line toll
free at 866-TIPS-4CJ.
For more information about stopping guardian abuse visit the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse.
Full Article & Source:
I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Former Atlantic Co. Employees In Court; Accused Of Bilking Seniors
Sisters Who Ran Senior Care Company in Atlantic County Indicted on Conspiracy Charges
I-Team Exclusive: Seniors Says She was Forced Into Nursing Home