A Hoboken man was among nine individuals that were charged with filing fraudulent applications to receive Superstorm Sandy relief from the federal government, Attorney General Chris Porrino announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Jerry Gustoso II, 44, of Hoboken, is charged with second-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification, officials said.
accused of filing fraudulent applications for FEMA assistance, a low-interest SBA disaster-relief loan, state grants under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP) and the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) funded by the state Department of Human Services.
As a result, he received a total of approximately $213,234 in relief funds. Gustoso allegedly falsely claimed in his applications that a home he owns a Bayville home, which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy was his primary residence at the time Sandy struck.
However, according to authorities, his primary residence was in Hoboken, and the Bayville home was a seasonal vacation home.
As a result of the alleged fraudulent applications, Gustoso received $2,270 from FEMA, $186,800 in SBA loan proceeds, a $10,000 RSP grant, and SHRAP funds totaling $14,164.
“We charge that these defendants stole from disaster relief programs and by extension from the victims who were hardest hit by the storm,” Porrino said in a statement.
“We’ll continue to charge every cheat we identify who diverted funds from these recovery programs and from victims in need.”
Debra Reddick, 58, of Newark, her son and daughter, Thomas Jamar Reddick, 34 of Newark, and Lateefah Reddick, 38, of East Orange, Debra Reddick’s niece Neima Jones, 32 of East Orange, and another relative of Debra Reddick, Kevin Osborne, 55, of Newark have been charged with similar crimes.
Additionally, Michael Casey, 51, of Point Pleasant, Judith McMahon, 47, of Manahawkin, Sandipkumar Patel, 43, of Edison, have also been charged with filing fraudulent claims.
As Hudson County View first reported, a Hoboken police officer was charged by the state AG’s Office of receiving $187,074 in Superstorm Sandy aid back in June.
Gustoso is represented by Edward Dimon, of Toms River’s Carluccio, Leone, Dimone, Doyle & Sacks, LLC, who declined to comment late this afternoon.