Widespread Post-Sandy Fraud - My9 New Jersey

Widespread Post-Sandy Fraud

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Middletown, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

As if the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy wasn’t devastating enough, following this natural disaster con artists developed hundreds of different scams to take advantage of the victims in New Jersey.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni started a Superstorm Sandy Anti-Fraud Task Force to prevent the kind of widespread fraud that followed other natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Since the task force was assembled last winter, Gramiccioni’s and his staff have found 210 cases of individuals and businesses looking to steal federal relief money and take advantage of Sandy victims who lost their homes.

For example, Frank Lewery of Staten Island was charged with theft after he allegedly posed as a licensed contractor and took $37,000 in deposits from a Rumson, New Jersey couple that he never used to rebuild their Sandy-damaged home, as promised.

William Nagle of Seabright, New Jersey has been charged with defrauding the Federal Sandy Assistance Program of over $12,000 by choosing to stay in a hotel 68 days after his once Sandy-damaged apartment was issued a certificate of occupancy.

And con artist Brian Nogiewich is still on the run after being charged with theft for selling generators to Sandy victims and never delivering.

Sadly, Gramiccioni believes we have yet to see the worst of Hurricane Sandy Fraud in New Jersey. “People are still waiting for their private and government-owned insurance settlements to come through and a lot of people don’t have the money to rebuild out of pocket. So we don’t think we’ve seen the wave on the level of Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Hugo, but we’re ready for it as long as people are rebuilding because that’s the key to it, is keeping vigilant,” He said.

The Superstorm Sandy Anti-Fraud Task Force also aims to serve the community as a one-stop-shop for victims of Hurricane Sandy to get the facts on relief resources and also report cases of fraud. For more information visit SandyFraud.com

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