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Lawyer, Owner Charged in Senior Citizen Scheme

A prominent Atlantic County attorney and the owner of an in-home senior care company have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to steal the life savings of elderly clients, the Attorney General’s office announced Thursday.

The two women reportedly stole more than $2 million from at least 10 victims.

Barbara Lieberman's law office in Northfield, Atlantic County
Barbara Lieberman’s law office in Northfield, Atlantic County (Office of the Attorney General)

Attorney Barbara Lieberman of Northfield and Jan Van Holt of Linwood have been charged with first-degree money laundering, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree theft by deception.

The victims were elderly Atlantic and Cape May County residents with substantial assets and typically no immediate family, according to an official press release.

“The defendants allegedly took control of the finances of their victims by forging a power of attorney or obtaining one on false pretenses. The defendants then added their names to the victims’ bank accounts or transferred the victims’ funds into new accounts they controlled,” the press release stated.

The defendants then, allegedly, siphoned the money to pay for personal expenses such as Mercedes cars, a Florida condo and veterinary bills. One victim died in a nursing home because she could not live in her own home after the defendants supposedly put a reverse mortgage for $195,000 on the property.

“We’re supposed to honor our elders, but these women heartlessly exploited them, allegedly stripping them of their life savings and their ability to live out their final days in comfort, peace and dignity,” said Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.

Van Holt’s sister and a former employee were also charged.

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