Couple Convicted of Covid Relief Fraud Is on the Run, FBI Says
NORTH BERGEN, NJ (CBSNewYork) – A money laundering case involving several locations and 20 people has landed a Bergen County man in jail and his wife on the run.
The feds claim Juliana Marts made up tens of thousands of dollars for her husband by getting them all involved in fake relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer reports Marts turned herself in Monday after spending the weekend at a friend’s house.
Marks Avelac, her husband at her side, was arrested last week after a sting at the Meadowlands.
Authorities say Marts began getting bogus invoices from Paradigm Development Corporation that claimed to be helping with Hurricane Maria relief.
1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reports https://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/eviction1-summite-w38-soc-mcmorrow.mp3
Instead, she handed the bogus cash over to her husband in exchange for cash advances.
“So, one of the payments that goes on for counterfeit relief, is that Mr. Avelac solicits a rescue crew or some other person, or person wants to work for him,” said Supervisory Special Agent Alan Ferguson.
Neighbors who spoke with CBS2 Tuesday morning say it doesn’t make sense to them.
“Nobody could figure out that anybody would do this,” said neighbor Nancy Riviera. “A lot of people don’t understand what you can and cannot do. And really, like, you’re running things, you know? I’m shocked.”
Marts, who is pregnant, is being held without bail, while her husband was released.
Authorities say the couple is no stranger to petty scams. Her husband has been arrested before on charges of counterfeit assistance. Marts also is a registered Republican who has twice run for mayor of Norristown, Pennsylvania.