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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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List of New Jerseyans Charged with Hurricane Sandy Fraud Grows Blog

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced five more people were charged on Thursday with filing fraudulent claims for Hurricane Sandy relief.  Most of those charged filed phony applications for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Hoffman said that “the defendants allegedly siphoned relief funds away from deserving recipients and forced administrators to spend time policing fraud rather than focusing exclusively on aiding victims in the wake of this historic natural disaster”.

The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice has charged more than three-dozen defendants with Sandy fraud and indicate they are not finished.

In New Jersey a person is guilty of theft by deception if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:

a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person’s intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;

b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or

c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.

The term “deceive” does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.

It is alleged that some of those charged with Sandy fraud have lied about where they were living at the time of the storm in order to steal relief funds totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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