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Man Admits Stealing Federal Benefits from Missing Newark Woman’s Disabled Child


By: Richard L. Smith 

An Essex County man has admitted to embezzling federal benefits intended for the disabled child of his former girlfriend, shortly after her disappearance, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Federal officials said Asmar Earp, 37, of Newark, pleaded guilty on June 26, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Evelyn Padin in Newark federal court.


He faced three counts of an indictment charging him with two counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Court documents and statements reveal that Earp was in a romantic relationship and shared a house in Newark with a woman identified as V.W. V.W. received monthly Social Security payments on behalf of her disabled minor son.

On December 24, 2017, Venika Williams went missing and has not been found since. Six days after her disappearance, Earp gained control of Williams’ son's benefits by changing the PIN code on the debit card used to access those funds.


In March and April 2018, he further used Williams’ personal information to obtain a replacement debit card, continuing to access the benefits.

Between December 2017 and February 2020, Earp and others directed by him repeatedly misappropriated the funds meant for Venkia William’s son.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross loss to the victim or gain to the defendant, whichever is greater.


The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory penalty of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other term, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross loss to the victim or gain to the defendant, whichever is greater.