Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what’s going on in the courts.

By Logan Beck

U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey:

Sexual assault can happen anywhere at anytime as evidenced by current events, even in the most unlikely places . . . such as on an airplane.

A New York man faces charges after being accused of sexually abusing a woman on an airplane flying from Tel Aviv, Israel to New York according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Yoel Oberlander, 35 was seated next to a woman and her mother on a plane on May 29. Oberlander allegedly placed his hands on the woman’s thighs and breasts without her consent, resulting in a criminal complaint with one count of abusive sexual contact.

However, this is not Oberlander’s first offense.

As a registered sex offender, Oberlander was also convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree back in 2002 after he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl.

His crime carries a statutory maximum of two years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.

Since March 2014, 62 individuals have been charged with filing fraudulent applications for federal relief funds after Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, resulting in unprecedented damage and loss.

On Thursday, June 16, five individuals were charged for fraudulent behavior, according to Attorney General Robert Lougy. The defendants include Nikola Lulaj, 42, of Seaside Heights, N.J.; Rachel Bryant, 53, of Philadelphia, Pa.; Gordon Sinclair, 40, of Summit, N.J.; Pat G. Angelastro, 46, of Ortley Beach, N.J.; and Catherine Alvira-Przybylski, 45, of Keyport, N.J.

The five defendants were charged, along with dozens of others found guilty of filing fraudulent applications.

Following Superstorm Sandy, Lulaj filed applications for FEMA assistance, a low-interest SBA disaster-relief loan, state grants and more. As a result, he received $187,074 in funds. At the time of the storm, Lulaj was living in Dumont, N.J., but claimed that his rental/vacation home in Seaside Heights was his primary residence. He is charged with second-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Bryant, a Philadelphia resident, used a similar tactic to obtain relief funds, claiming that a storm-damaged property she and her mother owned was her primary residence, when it was not. She was able to seize $23,918 from various programs, and now faces third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Sinclair was able to obtain $12,270 in relief funds by filing false applications for FEMA rental assistance, along with a state grant under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (HRP). Sinclair also stated that the property damaged in Lavallette, N.J. was his primary home, while he was actually residing in an apartment in Hoboken. He faces third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Angelastro claimed a home that belonged to his parents was his own, causing him to receive $10,000 in money that he was not qualified to receive. He faces third-degree theft by deception.

Alvira-Przybylski took advantage of her circumstances after the storm by indicating expenses that she never actually incurred. While she did need some assistance after her home was damaged, she claimed that she was paying her own rent after she was forced to relocate, when in reality government relief efforts were providing her with the funds. She is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.
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On Thursday, June 17, a disturbing discovery was made in a Bucks County Home.

Twelve children, from age 6 months to 18, were found in the home, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Lower Southampton Police Department.

Lee Kaplan, 51, allegedly fathered two of the children found in the home with the 18-year-old victim. He is currently being held in prison on $1 million bail and is being charged with sexual assault.

As if the circumstances were not strange enough, the 18-year-old was allegedly “gifted” to Kaplan by her parents, both Lancaster County residents. The parents are also being held on $1 million bail, and are not being identified at this time.

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