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Fort Lee Man Charged with Theft, Elder Abuse

By kcora on
Fort Lee

Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. GREWAL announced the arrest of Benjamin K. Yew, 33, of Fort Lee, on computer related theft, theft by deception and elder abuse related charges.

In March, members of the BCPO White Collar Crimes Unit received a complaint regarding suspected theft committed by Benjamin Yew.

The complainant informed the detectives that Yew had been given power of attorney over a senior citizen who resided in a Bergen County based senior living facility and that he had taken advantage of his position to steal monies from bank accounts to which he had access.

An investigation conducted by the BCPO White Collar Crimes Unit detectives revealed that Yew had been given power of attorney to assist in the handling of financial and healthcare related affairs for a senior citizen in 2009. Upon receiving the power of attorney, he accessed the victim’s investment account which initially contained over $900,000 and the victim’s personal checking account which received monthly pension and Social Security deposits.

With the victim’s power of attorney, Yew assumed responsibility for the victim’s care which included making monthly payments to the senior living facility in which the victim resided.

Between 2009 and 2016, Yew transferred money from the victim’s investment and checking accounts to his own personal bank account by check, via online banking transfers, and by making cash withdrawals and then depositing the cash into his account. He utilized the monies that were transferred into his account for his own personal purposes. The total amount of money removed from the victim’s accounts and personally utilized by

Yew was in excess of $500,000.

When the money in the investment fund was depleted, the victim’s funds were insufficient to maintain the level of care the victim received on a monthly basis at the senior living facility.

On July 28, 2016, a warrant was issued by the Bergen County Central Municipal Court for Yew's arrest. On July 29, Yew was arrested by BCPO and Fort Lee Police detectives at his Fort Lee home.

Yew was charged with one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:20-25C, computer related theft in excess of $250,000, a 1st degree crime; one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4A, theft by deception in excess of $75,000, a 2nd degree crime; one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a, money laundering in excess of $75,000, a 2nd degree crime; and one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:24-8a, abandonment/neglect of an elderly person, a 3rd degree crime.

Yew was remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail set at $75,000 with no 10% cash alternative by the Honorable Louis J. Dinice, J.M.C. pending his first appearance in Bergen County CJP Court on August 10.