Four more Superstorm aid recipients charged with theft, fraud
Three of the latest four applicants charged with collecting federal Superstorm aid under false pretenses have ties to the Jersey Shore.
Fred N. Perone, 80, and his wife Anne, 78, of Bonita Springs, Florida, are accused of collecting $91,900 in relief funds for a secondary house in Long Beach that they claimed as a primary home, according to information from the office of acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman.
Prosecutors say the Perones tapped into a Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loan and state grants through the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP) and Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program. It's alleged that the Perones live in Florida more than six months of every year.
They're charged with second-degree theft by deception. Anne Perone also faces a fourth-degree count of unsworn falsification.
Mark Alessi, 53, allegedly collected $2,270 in rental aid from FEMA connected to his Toms River house. Investigators say he and his wife had already resettled in Las Vegas five months before the storm hit, and had the house up for sale.
Farry Bouza, 38, of Orange, allegedly pulled in $22,804 for property damage, moving and storage and rental assistance related to a Newark apartment. Investigators say he claimed that the damage forced him to move to an Irvington apartment. They allege that he didn't live at either one, and submitted bogus rent and storage receipts.
Alessi and Bouza each face a third-degree charge of theft by deception and a fourth-degree count of unsworm falsification.
Second-degree charges are punishable on conviction by prison sentences of five to 10 years and fines up to $150,000. Third-degree counts carry penalites of five years in prison and fines as high as $15,000 on conviction. Fourth-degrree charges can mean prison terms up to 18 months and fines up to $10,000 on conviction.