Ocean County Lawyer Indicted For Stealing $1.9M From Clients

Bob Novy (Center) at his law office in Toms River before he was arrested. (Photo courtesy of Bob Novy's Law Office Site)

BRICK – A popular radio show host and expert on elder law was indicted April 30 on charges he stole about $1.9 million from elderly clients.

Robert Novy, 66, of Brick, was indicted on 10 charges, State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Monday.

The charges include two counts of theft by unlawful taking, three counts of misapplication of entrusted property, one count of theft by deception, two counts of money laundering in the first degree, and two counts of money laundering in the second degree.

The charges carry prison times of 10-20 years and/or fines up to $500,000.

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Happier times for Bob Novy (Photo from Bob Novy’s Law Practice Website)

From 2009 to 2016, the state alleges Novy stole $1.9 million from six elderly clients, most who had no close family. Novy used that money for his own purposes, gaining it through “wills, powers of attorney, and trust documents, making himself the sole financial decision-maker for the clients,” the state attorney general’s office said. When some trustees did contest insurance companies paying out policies to Novy, he claimed those were administrative errors and did pay back those funds.

Novy, who hosted “Inside the Law,” was arrested Oct. 18, 2016 after state interdepartmental investigations. Detectives searched his Ridgeway Avenue, Manchester, office and seized billing records and other evidence. More than $3.5 million in assets were frozen, and a trustee was appointed to oversee his law firm’s business.

“Novy allegedly stole nearly $2 million from vulnerable clients, preying on seniors who were frail and isolated and who trusted him as their attorney to guard their life savings,” Grewal said.  “It is hard to imagine a more callous personal and professional betrayal.”

Robert Novy Mug Shot (Photo courtesy of The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

“We allege that Novy systematically drained his clients’ assets, laundering funds through various bank accounts and charging unauthorized fees to enrich himself and his firm,” director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice said. “We urge anyone with relevant information about Novy and his handling of client funds to contact our office.”

The six victims are all from Ocean County: two from Brick, two from Manchester, one from Point Pleasant and one from Waretown. One victim, a 98-year-old woman from Manchester, is still alive. The others passed.

An investigation is ongoing.