5 Indicted in Atlantic County in a Conspiracy to Steal Millions From Seniors
Five people have been indicted in Atlantic County on charges of conspiracy and money laundering. According to the attorney general’s office, the owner of a senior care company, her sister and three others have been indicted for allegedly attempting to steal millions of dollars from senior clients.
The three other individuals are an employee who allegedly conspired with the group, a doctor who allegedly lied to police during the investigation and a former Atlantic County Adult Protective Services caseworker.
Jan Van Holt of Linwood was owner of “A Better Choice,” which offered legal financial planning and in-home life care to senior clients. Van Holt has been charged with three counts of conspiracy, three counts of money-laundering, official misconduct, and three counts of theft by deception.
Sondra Steen, Van Holt’s sister, helped run the company and offered assistance to its clients. She has been charged with three counts of conspiracy, three counts of money laundering, theft by deception and official misconduct.
Barbara Lieberman, a Northfield lawyer who specialized in elder law, pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering on November 3, 2014. Lieberman may face 10 years in prison. She has forfeited her law license and $3 million in assets.
Steen and Van Holt allegedly conspired with Lieberman to steal over $2 million from 12 clients between January 2003 and December 2012. Allegedly, the defendants targeted elderly clients who had substantial assets and no immediate family.
After luring in clients, the defendants are said to have taken control of the victims’ finances. Control was allegedly taken by forging power of attorney, or obtaining one under false pretenses. The defendants then allegedly added their names to the bank accounts of the victims in order to pay for their own expenses. The defendants supposedly used manipulation, fraud or forgery when executing wills to steal from the deceased victims’ estates.
The defendants face 10-20 years in prison on first-degree charges and 3-5 years on third-degree charges.
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