A Morris County judge today froze the assets of a Fair Haven investment adviser who is alleged to have swindled an elderly client out of $9 million over a decade, according to reports by the Star-Ledger and Morristown’s Daily Record.
Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis today ordered Marshall Smith not to transfer any of his assets pending further notice.
According to a civil suit filed by Leonard Frederick, his 93-year-old client, Smith was fired from his job at Cantone Research Inc. in Tinton Falls earlier this month afer admitting to his employer that he had sold Frederick non-existent financial investments over the prior decade.
The suit also names Smith’s wife, Holly, as a defendant. Monmouth County records show the Smiths own a property on Fair Haven’s Kemp Avenue assessed at $894,200.
Smith has not been charged with any crimes. He did not appear in Bozonelis’ courtroom today, as the judge had ordered April 8, when a temporary asset freeze was imposed. Law enforcement officials were present in court today, the Daily Record reports.
From the Sledger:
The judge also ordered Smith to provide a full accounting of his assets and Frederick’s money.
Frederick’s daughter, Frances Frederick of Pittsburgh, Pa., who
attended today’s hearing on behalf of her father, said afterward, “I’m
glad he (Smith) has to list his assets.”
After a story on the case
appeared in The Star-Ledger on April 8, a Cincinnati, Ohio couple,
Ralph and Eleanor Tedeschi, both 82, who also invested with Smith, came
forward alleging they were bilked out of $400,000 by Smith, according
to their attorney Alan Lebensfeld.
Tedeschi’s son, Ron Tedeschi of Red Bank, who attended today’s
hearing with Lebensfeld, had been a best friend of Maxwell’s, learned
of the alleged scheme through the newspaper story and told his parents.
Lebesnfeld described the alleged bilking as a ponzi scheme, in which
Smith allegedly put the investors’ money into his own personal
investment account with another brokerage firm, and that account now
only has $700 left in it.
“It funded his own extravagant lifestyle,” including owning a villa
in France, Lebensfeld said after the hearing. “He lived high off the
The Record reported that authorities believe also owns a villa in France and a property in Switzerland.