An Ocean County attorney who hosted a radio show and taught seminars on elder law pleaded guilty Friday to stealing millions of dollars from elderly clients.
Robert Novy, 66, of Brick, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering. He faces up to 10 years in prison, of which he will have to serve more than three years without parole, according to the terms of his plea deal.
A state investigation revealed that Novy stole almost $3 million from at least two dozen victims, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal's office said in a statement.
Novy tended to prey on elderly clients without close relatives and those with dementia, the statement read. Novy gained control of his victim's wills, the attorney general's office said, and would make himself their sole financial decision-maker.
He would also direct insurance companies to redeem life insurance policies and send the money to him when his clients died, the attorney general's office said.
If clients caught onto his scheme and challenged him about stolen funds, he would claim they were administrative errors and return the money.
The money he stole was used to pay off personal and business expenses, according to the attorney general’s office.
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“By exploiting elderly clients and stealing their life savings, Novy sank to the lowest levels of greed, dishonesty, and callousness,” Grewal said in the statement.
Authorities have seized $4 million in assets from Novy and his firm, Novy and Associates, to pay back his victims. They're holding back $1 million to pay back any clients who have yet to come forward.
Novy hosted a radio show called “Inside the Law.” The show focused on issues of concern to senior citizens.
Novy is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28. As a part of the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he receive ten years in prison with nearly three years of parole ineligibility.
If you have proof that Novy stole from either you or a relative, email or call Deputy Attorney General Kara R. Webster at WebsterK@njdcj.org or 609-376-2444.