- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey investment adviser and his father stand accused of stealing $175,000 from an elderly widow and using the money to pay off a home equity line of credit.

State authorities tell the Asbury Park Press (https://on.app.com/1DRGNF8) that 54-year-old Andrew M. Lesnak, of Toms River, and 84-year-old Andrew G. Lesnak, of Hampton Bays, New York, were indicted this week on charges of conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and three counts of financial facilitation of criminal activity.

Both men face long prison sentences if convicted on all counts. The younger Lesnak declined comment on Saturday, and a telephone number for his father could not be located.

Authorities say the younger Lesnak was an investment adviser for the widow and her husband. After the man died in 2007, the widow asked Lesnak for help with her finances and gave him power of attorney. Lesnak allegedly convinced her to turn over an annuity to him, and he converted $175,000 of it into two cashier’s checks.

Without the widow’s knowledge, authorities say Lesnak used one check to pay off a home equity line of credit held against a home his father owned in Pine Brook. The other check allegedly deposited into the elder Lesnak’s checking account and later withdrawn as cash, authorities allege.



On the same day as the withdrawal, that exact amount was deposited into the younger Lesnak’s business account, authorities said.

In February 2012, the widow entered an assisted living facility. She hired an attorney after she couldn’t contact the younger Lesnak, and the attorney discovered that a large amount of her assets were missing.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, https://www.app.com

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