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Bayville home owner, four others charged with scamming Sandy aid

A Bayville property owner is one of five in a growing list of defendants accused of filing bogus applications for federal Superstorm relief.

Michael McCrone, 64, faces charges along with Keith Bowden, 69, of North Plainfield; Marcy Gendel, 65, of Verona; Randolph Colson, 65, of Netcong; and Carmela Longo, 54, of Westerly, Rhode Island, according to the office of New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino.

McCrone is charged with a second-degree count of attempted theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Authorities allege that McCrone received about $72,163 for a Rosewood Drive house that he claimed was his primary residence, when he lived in Newtown, Pennsylvania. McCrone allegedly received $69,893 through the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program, plus $2,270 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has retained the services of Beach Haven attorney W. Curtis Dowell.

Bowden is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification for allegedly taking FEMA aid and a grant through the state’s Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP).

Investigators accused Bowden of claiming a house he rents on Ivy Lane in Lavallette as his primary home, collecting $27,108 in total. Authorities said that Bowden submitted, then withdrew an application for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and was rejected for an RREM grant. He is represented by attorney Robert Scrivo of Morristown.

Colson faces a third-degree theft-by-deception charge connected to a summer-and-weekend house on East Church Street in Sea bright that he allegedly claimed as his primary residence. Investigators said that Colson filed, then withdrew, an application for FEMA aid and received a $10,000 RSP grant. He has retained the services of Ledgewood attorney Anthony Arbore.

Gendel is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification for FEMA and RSP submissions connected to a house on the Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach that she is believed to rent, but which she allegedly claimed was her primary residence. Authorities said that she accumulated $12,270 in all. She is represented by attorney Mauro Tucci of West Orange.

Longo is charged with second-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification. Investigators allege that she collected $191,314 through FEMA and the RSP, RREM and Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) for a vacation house on North Cambridge Avenue in Ventnor which she allegedly claimed as a primary residence. She is represented by Haddon Heights attorney Rocco C.Cipparone, Jr.

Convictions for second-degree charges carry prison sentences of five to 10 years and fines up to $150,000. Third-degree charges are punishable by sentences of three to five years and fines up to $15,000 on conviction. Fourth-degree counts can mean up to 18 months in prison and fines as high as $10,000 on conviction.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law

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