Court News

NJ Joins Federal Lawsuit Challenging EPA’s Failure to Strengthen National Air Quality Standards

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that New Jersey has joined a coalition of states in suing the Trump Administration over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to strengthen national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter, an air pollutant that has been linked to serious health problems, and which poses a particular threat to environmental justice communities.

Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission Employee Charged With Paying Bribe to Senior Official

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that an employee of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (“PVSC” ), a state agency, has been charged with paying a $1,200 bribe to a senior official at the agency.   According to the Attorney Generals Office, Omid Bayati, 39, of Hillsdale, was charged on Thursday, January 7, by complaint-summons with bribery in official and political matters (2nd degree) and offer of unlawful benefit to a public servant for official behavior (2nd degree).    According to the investigation, while employed at the PVSC in Newark, Bayati allegedly made an improper payment of $1,200 to at least one senior official at the PVSC. 

Man Charged with Stabbing Jersey City Resident to Death

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has announced that the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit arrested Mr. Darius Evans, 45, of Jersey City, in connection with the stabbing death of 39-year-old Tyrone Haskins on January 1, in Jersey City.

Superstorm Sandy Contractors Indicted for Stealing Funds

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 6, 2021, Mr Jonathan Price, 43, of Manahawkin, and Mr. Scott Cowan, 58, of Demarest, were indicted by an Ocean County Grand Jury for eighteen counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property (Funds) Received in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9.

Woman Charged With Stealing $268K By Collecting Survivor Benefits From Deceased Husband’s Pension After She Remarried

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a woman was indicted for allegedly stealing more than $268,000 by fraudulently collecting survivor benefits from her deceased husband’s pension for nearly 10 years after she remarried and allegedly knew she was disqualified for such benefits.   According to the Attorney General's office, Sandra VonScheven, 44, of Hamilton, Mercer County, was indicted yesterday by a state grand jury on a charge of second-degree theft by unlawful taking.  

NJ AG Announces Action to Stop Sham Mortgage Relief Scheme Targeting Financially Struggling Homeowners

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) Commissioner Marlene Caride today announced the filing of a lawsuit to halt a scheme in which a single New Jersey family operated multiple companies to defraud struggling homeowners by offering them mortgage adjustment services that provided no meaningful relief and often made their precarious financial situation even worse.

AG Office Sues to Stop Trump Administration from Letting Lenders Take Advantage of NJ Borrowers

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today joined a coalition of eight Attorneys General in suing the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) over a new rule that would undermine efforts by New Jersey to keep predatory lenders from charging exorbitant interest rates on loans by bypassing state-imposed interest rate caps — or usury laws — designed to protect borrowers from exploitation.   At issue is the True Lender Rule, which enables predatory lenders to circumvent state-set interest rate caps through “rent-a-bank” schemes — arrangements which allow heavily-regulated national banks to act as lenders in name only, for the express purpose of enabling payday lenders and other non-bank lenders to evade state usury laws.   Through today’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, New Jersey and the other participating states seek to block the rule’s implementation.   “New Jersey’s strong laws against predatory lending have never been as important as they are now when so many families are struggling economically in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Attorney General Grewal said. “Unfortunately, over the last four years, we’ve seen the federal government repeatedly side with predatory lenders and take steps to make it harder for states like New Jersey to combat unconscionable lending practices. Until these Trump-era policies are reversed, we will continue to fight for New Jersey and its residents in court.”     “Rent-a-bank schemes undermine the civil and criminal usury laws New Jersey has put in place to protect our residents,” Division of Consumer Affairs Director Paul R. Rodríguez said. “Our laws have kept unscrupulous lenders from gaining a foothold in our state, but this new rule undermines those protections and will make it easier for predatory payday and vehicle title lenders to profit at the expense of New Jersey consumers.”   Under the federal National Bank Act, national banks that are licensed and regulated by the OCC are subject to extensive federal oversight and supervision.  

AG Announces Actions Against Red Bank Broker-Dealer for Defrauding Investors

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced several actions by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities in its ongoing investigation of the now-defunct First Standard Financial Company, LLC, of Red Bank, a broker-dealer whose agents defrauded customers as part of an excessive trading scheme.   Earlier this month, First Standard agreed to relinquish the lion’s share of its liquid assets – about $400,000 – to provide restitution to investors. 

NJ Takes Action Against Pharmacist Who Offered Unproven COVID-19 Treatments

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that a licensed pharmacist and owner of a Monmouth County pharmacy has agreed to cease and desist from holding himself out as a physician, after an undercover investigation found that he had offered an unproven natural treatment for COVID-19 and advised an individual to purchase vitamins and enzyme supplements instead of the medications prescribed by her doctor.