The Paterson Criminal Law Blog

The Paterson
Criminal Law Blog

Published By

Alissa D. Hascup, Esq.

Clifton NJ Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Charges

Posted in Theft Offenses

Clifton Fraud Crime LawyerA Clifton, New Jersey woman will be spending time behind bars after she admitted to stealing almost $1 million from a local trucking business.

The suspect is a 55-year-old resident of Clifton in Passaic County, NJ. She was employed as the payroll clerk for Clifford B. Finkle Jr. Inc., a trucking company in Clifton. While working at the company from June 2012 to April 2015, the suspect reportedly embezzled more than $900,000.

According to authorities, the suspect falsified the company’s payroll records and then created checks for individuals who did not actually work at the company. (Those individuals later cashed the checks and split the proceeds with the suspect.)

The trucking business owners eventually learned about the fraud and notified law enforcement.

The suspect was charged with numerous theft crimes, but she managed to avoid trial in federal court in Newark by reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges; in exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop certain charges against her.

In addition to serving prison time, the suspect will also be required to pay a fine of at least $250,000.

For additional about this case, access the NJ.com article, “Payroll Clerk Admits Stealing $920K from Trucking Company.”

Powerball Winner Accused of Sexually Assaulting Girl in Wayne, NJ

Posted in Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault Suspect in Wayne NJA Wayne, New Jersey man who won a huge Powerball jackpot faces criminal charges for aggravated sexual assault of an underage girl.

The suspect is 49-year-old Pedro Quezada, a Wayne NJ resident who won a $338 Powerball lottery jackpot in 2013.

Prior to winning the lottery, Quezada allegedly committed sex offenses against a juvenile girl on multiple occasions. The girl was reportedly between the ages of 11 and 14 at the time of the sex crimes. She is now 20 years of age and has come forward to law enforcement.

According to Passaic County prosecutors, Quezada bought the girl a gift and sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old.

The suspect has been charged with multiple crimes, including aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.

If Quezada is ultimately convicted on the most serious charges, he could be sentenced to as many as 40 years behind bars in state prison. Beyond that, Quezada would likely have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

For more information about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Powerball Winner Out of Jail After Arrest on Child Sex Charges.”

Man Accused of Stealing Rolex from Jewelry Store in Wayne, NJ

Posted in Theft Offenses

Theft Charges in Wayne NJPolice in Wayne, New Jersey are looking for a man who allegedly stole a luxury watch from a jewelry store inside the Willowbrook Mall.

The theft crime happened just before 2:00 p.m. According to law enforcement, the suspect was wearing a medical lab coat when he walked into Michael Anthony Jewelers at the Willowbrook Mall and approached a store worker. The man told the employee that he just finished a 16-hour work shift and wanted to go shopping for his birthday. He then asked to see a Rolex Presidential Watch.

The jewelry store employee brought the item out for display. The suspect then allegedly snatched the watch and fled the scene. Witnesses at the mall reported that the suspect got into a Ford Fusion with Florida license plates and drove away.

The stolen Rolex reportedly has a retail value of $37,500.

Wayne NJ detectives are actively investigating the theft. If police can identify and apprehend the suspect, he could be charged with theft of movable property.

For additional information about this case, go to the NJ.com article, “Man in Lab Coat Stole Rolex Worth $37,500 from Willowbrook Mall.”

West Milford NJ Man Dies, Body Found in Septic Tank

Posted in Homicide

Criminal Lawyer in West Milford NJLaw enforcement officials in West Milford, NJ are looking into recent the death of a longtime township resident.

The victim was an 85-year-old man who had lived in West Milford since the 1970s. His body was reportedly found in the septic tank at his home on Morsetown Road.

According to authorities, the victim began working on the septic system at his house at around 9:00 a.m. His body was not discovered until 5:00 p.m.

Emergency medical crews rushed to the scene, but it was too late to do anything to save the victim’s life. The victim was pronounced dead at the site.

Detectives with the West Milford Police Department investigated and determined that the victim may have been electrocuted while doing the work on the pump tank. However, an official determination won’t be made until coroners can conduct an autopsy on the victim’s body.

If for some reason it is determined that the victim was killed by someone else, it is possible that his death could be ruled a homicide.

For more information, read the NJ.com article, “Man, 85, Found Dead in Septic Tank, Report Says.”

Clifton Woman Accused of Stealing from Dead Man

Posted in Theft Offenses

Clifton NJ Theft ChargesA woman from Clifton, New Jersey who was employed at a local senior center allegedly stole thousands of dollars from a deceased man.

The suspect, a 31-year-old NJ woman, worked for one year at the Clifton Senior Citizens Center, a government-run facility.

According to law enforcement officials, the suspect made friends with an older resident at the facility. After the man died, the suspect reportedly got access to his debit card and made several purchases with funds from the victim’s bank account. (The funding reportedly came from Social Security checks that continued to be deposited after the man’s death.)

Clifton law enforcement learned about the alleged theft and notified the Social Security Administration. Following an investigation, police placed the suspect under arrest.

The suspect has been charged with theft by deception and identity theft.

To learn more about this case, check out the NJ.com article, “City Worker Stole Dead Man’s Social Security Money, Cops Say.”

Officials Investigating Possible Embezzlement from PTA in Little Falls, NJ

Posted in Theft Offenses

Little Falls Fraud AttorneyLaw enforcement officials Little Falls, NJ are looking into possible embezzlement and fraud involving the Little Falls Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

The New Jersey PTA determined that a thorough investigation was necessary after state auditors reportedly came across financial irregularities in the records of the Little Falls PTA. Specifically, auditors reportedly found that School 2 and School 3 in Little Falls were missing funds that should have been accounted for after fundraising and donations.

The NJ PTA will be sending official investigators to take a closer look at the Little Falls PTA books.

Initial reports indicate that thousands of dollars may have gone missing. Depending on the validity of those reports, it is possible that the person responsible for the alleged embezzlement could be looking at severe penalties that include prison time and fines.

For more information about this case, check out the NJ.com article, “Thousands in PTA Money at Little Falls Schools May Be Missing.”

Judge Orders New Trials for Paterson NJ Men Convicted of Murder

Posted in Homicide

Paterson Criminal Defense LawyerTwo men from Paterson, New Jersey had their earlier convictions thrown out and will be receiving new trials in a murder case. The ruling was issued because of new DNA evidence that has come to light.

The two suspects were convicted more than two decades ago for allegedly killing a video store worker in Paterson, NJ. They have spent 24 years behind bars for the crime.

According to Passaic County prosecutors, one of the suspects used a knife to repeatedly stab the victim at Victoria Video in Paterson, NJ.

The suspects were later questioned by police and confessed to the homicide. However, they later recanted their confessions and said that police officers pressured them to make the statements.

Two legal justice groups, the Innocence Project and Centurion Ministries, investigated the suspects’ case and eventually found DNA evidence that could prove their innocence. DNA swabs were taken from a hat left at the scene of the murder.

According to authorities, the new evidence could prove that someone else actually committed the violent homicide.

For further information about this case, go to the NJ.com article, “New DNA Evidence Prompts New Trials for 2 Who Have Been Jailed Decades for Murder.”

Clifton Police Arrest Three Teenagers Accused of Sexual Assault, Robbery

Posted in Sex Crimes

Sex Crime Attorney in Clifton NJPolice recently arrested three teenagers accused of robbing a woman and sexual assaulting her at a hotel in Clifton, NJ.

According to law enforcement officials, the suspects committed the crimes at a room at the Howard Johnson Inn on Route 3 West in Clifton, New Jersey. The suspects reportedly gained access to the hotel room by knocking on the door and then forcing their way inside after the victim opened the door.

The suspects allegedly sexually assaulted the victim and then stole her possessions and money before running from the scene.

Clifton NJ police detectives investigated the alleged sex offense and eventually determined the identities of the teen suspects: a 15-year-old boy from Paterson, a 16-year-old boy from Paterson, and a 16-year-old boy from Clifton.

The suspects were arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including sexual assault, robbery, burglary, criminal restraint, aggravated assault, and theft of movable property.

The suspects are juveniles, so they could potentially face charges for juvenile offenses. However, it seems likely that prosecutors will charge the suspects as adults because the crimes were extremely violent.

After being arrested and processed, the suspects were moved to the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark, NJ.

For additional information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “3 Teens Charged with Sex Assault, Robbery of Woman in Hotel.”

Paterson NJ Teen Gets Prison Time for Shooting at Police

Posted in Weapons Offenses

Paterson Juvenile Crime AttorneysA teen who used a fake gun during multiple armed robberies, and who also used the weapon to shoot at Paterson NJ cops, is headed to prison.

The suspect, a 16-year-old boy from Paterson in Passaic County, NJ, robbed at least three people before he was apprehended by law enforcement.

The first robbery was committed on Carroll Street in Paterson, New Jersey. The suspect reportedly brandished a black starter’s pistol and threatened the victim.

Police captured the 16-year-old suspect after the third robbery. The suspect reportedly fired the starter’s pistol at the victim and then also took aim at responding officers. (Fortunately for the intended targets, the gun only fired blanks.)

The suspect is a minor, so he could have been charged with juvenile offenses. However, Passaic County NJ prosecutors chose to file felony charges against the suspect – meaning that he was charged as an adult in the case.

The suspect reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and agreed to plead guilty to several charges: armed robbery, drug possession, using a weapon against police, and other criminal weapons offenses.

Now the 16-year-old suspect will be spending a long time behind bars. That’s because a Passaic County Superior Court judge has sentenced him to 10 years in NJ State Prison, with a minimum term of incarceration of 85 percent of the sentence before the suspect can be released on parole.

For additional information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Teen Robber Who Fired Fake Gun at Cops Sentenced to 10 Years.”

Hawthorne Man Convicted of Aggravated Manslaughter for Fatal DUI Accident

Posted in Homicide

Manslaughter Lawyer in Hawthorne NJA Hawthorne NJ man is likely headed to prison for a very long time after a Passaic County jury found him guilty of aggravated manslaughter for causing a fatal car crash.

The suspect is a 51-year-old man from Hawthorne, NJ. According to Passaic County prosecutors, the suspect was under the influence of an aerosol chemical when he lost control of his 2014 Dodge Ram and crashed through a barricade at a farmer’s market in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

The suspect’s truck struck a woman and dragged her across the roadway. The victim, a 58-year-old resident of Hawthorne, was later pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Police investigated the crash and determined that the suspect was high on difluoroethane, which he allegedly inhaled before he got behind the wheel of his vehicle.

At the end of a criminal trial in Passaic County Superior Court in Hackensack, a jury found the suspect guilty on aggravated manslaughter charges and death by auto charges.

When the suspect returns to court in November for a formal sentencing hearing, he faces a possible sentence of 60 years behind bars in NJ State Prison.

To learn more about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Man Found Guilty of Driving High, Dragging Woman to Her Death.”