Authorities said a husband and wife scam duo from Woodcliff Lake swiped $485,000 from investors, including some longtime friends they ran into at school and social events. Elizabeth and Joseph Suarez, of Taryn Court, were both being held on $100,000 in the Bergen County Jail.
Joseph & Elizabeth Suarez
“Once the due dates had passed regarding the return of the money, the victims regularly called Joseph Suarez and questioned him about when their overdue payments would be made,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
“The victims explained that Mr. Suarez always told them not to worry and had an excuse as to why he had to wait for the money but he assured the victims that they would get their money back,” the prosecutor said. “He and Elizabeth eventually issued them all the bad checks in the amount they were owed.”
The investors contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office White Collar Crimes unit.
The three victims — two from New Jersey and one from New York — got checks from Elizabeth Suarez, 47, for $200,000, $120,000, $100,000, $50,000 and $15,000.
“These checks were described by the victims as a return of an investment plus the interest,” Molinelli said.
All five checks bounced, he said.
“Most of the victims felt comfortable investing with Joseph Suarez (46) and Elizabeth Suarez because of their long friendly relationship and the fact that some of the victims considered Joseph Suarez as being one of their very best friends,” the prosecutor said.
The couple are charged with various counts of theft and kiting checks.
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