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Monmouth County News Briefs, Oct. 19

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A Middletown resident has been indicted for laundering money on behalf of the Cape Town Zone of Black Axe, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Andrew Suarez, 29, is charged by indictment with money laundering conspiracy, substantive money laundering counts and aggravated identity theft, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from August 2017 through December 2017, Suarez worked with conspirators to launder money to entities in the Cape Town, South Africa, area, including to an account in the name of Abravoo Trading Company, an entity controlled by a founding member of the Cape Town Zone of Black Axe.

Black Axe members were responsible for widespread internet-based fraud schemes.

Suarez opened up bank accounts in the United States, which were then used to conceal money obtained through business email compromises and other fraud schemes.

Suarez transferred the proceeds of the fraud schemes to other U.S. bank accounts and wired proceeds to bank accounts in Cape Town, South Africa. To avoid detection, Suarez changed the information on some of his bank accounts, so the accounts listed the name and address of a victim.

According to the press release, each of the money laundering charges carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the transfer, whichever is greater.

The aggravated identity theft count carries a mandatory two-year prison term, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $250,000, according to the press release.


Twenty one cozy creations by seven members of the Spring Lake Chapter of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists (ATHA) are currently on display at the Wainright House, 48 Main St., Farmingdale.

Hosted by owner Virginia Woolley, and coordinated by Diane Waugh, this exhibit evokes a sense of history and home comfort, according to a press release.

The talented and patient “hookers” are Lydia Brenner and Joan Thomas of Fair Haven, Eleanor Brossoie of Tinton Falls, Colleen Minis of Shrewsbury, Brenda Scott of Lake Como, Sue Vilagi of Freehold and Diane Waugh of Jackson.

Viewing hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. There will be a closing reception with light refreshments on Oct. 30 from 1-4 p.m. All are welcome to attend the closing reception.

The Spring Lake Chapter of ATHA meets from September through May on the second Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 904 Fourth Ave., Spring Lake.

For more information about ATHARUGS, contact Lydia Brenner by email at lbrenuva@comcast.net or visit www.springlakenjatha.org


Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is inviting all Monmouth County high school students to enter the County Clerk’s Annual Elections and Voting Video Contest. This year’s contest asks students to reflect on what voting means to them and why it is important, while encouraging their peers to vote.

The contest is open to high school students who reside in Monmouth County and/or
attend a high school in Monmouth County, according to a press release.

Students are allowed to work alone or to form groups of no more than three members. Single or group entrants are permitted to submit one original video that is one to three minutes long that reflects on what the right to vote means to them and why it is important, with a focus on educating peers of the three ways to vote in New Jersey.

“Over the past few years, options of voting have expanded in New Jersey, now growing to include traditional Election Day voting, mail-in voting and early in-person voting,” Hanlon said.

Students are permitted to be creative in their submissions and can use digital or traditional special effects, according to the press release.

The top three videos will be awarded gift card prizes by Hanlon and will be advertised via the county clerk’s social media platforms and voter outreach program. Videos will remain the property of the county clerk’s office.

Entries will be accepted through Nov. 1 and via email to ClerkContest@co.monmouth.nj.us with the subject “2022 High School Video Contest.”

Entrants must upload their video to YouTube and then email the direct link to the video to the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office. For full contest rules and eligibility, visit MonmouthCountyClerk.com. For more information, call 732-431-7324, ext. 8735.


The Colts Neck Historical Preservation Committee will present a Country Christmas at
the historic one-room Montrose School with seasonal refreshments and holiday music performed by the Mike Wells Trio from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 4.

This is a free event. The school is at the corner of Montrose Road and Cedar Drive, Colts Neck. All are welcome to attend.

Committee Chairwoman Lillian Burry will read “The Night Before Christmas” and Santa Claus will be on hand for photos. There will also be a visit from “Norman the Christmas Dog.”

“Everyone on the committee enjoys preparing and opening the Montrose School for special events that highlight our township’s unique role in 19th century America. We invite everyone to share in the warmth and historic significance of the Montrose School during this community celebration,” Burry said.


A Monmouth County Grand Jury has returned a four-count indictment against the local man charged with sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint in a Tinton Falls motel room earlier this year, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Oct. 12

Kareem Lee, 31, of Keyport, is charged with first degree armed robbery, first degree aggravated sexual assault, and two related second degree weapons offenses, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. July 21, members of the Tinton Falls Police Department were dispatched to a motel on Route 33. Upon arrival, a woman told the responding police officers she had been sexually assaulted at gunpoint by a man who had entered her room, according to the press release.

An investigation by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Bureau and the Tinton Falls Police Department resulted in Lee being identified as a suspect in the case. Lee was located and arrested by members of the Red Bank Police Department in Count Basie Park on the afternoon of July 22, according to the press release.

Investigators are seeking additional information about Lee’s activities. Anyone with information regarding this case or Lee is asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Dawn Correia at 800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Officer Christopher Mills at 732-542-4422.

Lee remains detained at the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township, pending future court proceedings..

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