NJ lawyer, business owner, 2 others stole seniors' life savings, AG says

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March 20, 2014 3:34:44 PM PDT
An elder law attorney in Atlantic County and the owner of an in-home senior care company are accused of preying on elderly clients and stealing their life savings.

Attorney Barbara Lieberman, 62, of Northfield, and "A Better Choice" owner Jan Van Holt, 57, of Linwood, are charged with money laundering, conspiracy and theft by deception.

Van Holt's sister, 58-year-old Sondra Steen of Linwood, and a former employee, 55-year-old Susan Hamlett of Egg Harbor Township, also are charged in the case.

State prosecutors say Lieberman and Van Holt stole more than $2 million from at least 10 people in Atlantic and Cape May counties, and used the money to pay for two Mercedes, a Florida condominium, homes in California and credit card bills for extensive travel.

Authorities say the suspects targeted elderly clients with substantial assets who typically did not have any immediate family members, offering them non-medical care and assistance, including financial and legal services.

The suspects allegedly took control of their victims' finances then added their names to the victims' bank accounts or transferred the victims' money into new accounts they controlled.

Thereafter, prosecutors say, they siphoned away the money to pay their own expenses

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said nine of the 10 identified victims have died, and that in some cases, one of the suspects was an executor of their will and kept taking money from the victims even after they died.

Authorities are checking to see if there are additional victims.

Van Holt and Lieberman are each held on $300,000 bail. It's not known if they have legal representation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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