RED BANK: BROAD STREET BIDS GOODBYE

rb garmany 072915The casket bearing the remains of longtime borough merchant Laureano “Larry” Garmany, who died Saturday at age 62, arrives for funeral services at Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank Wednesday morning. Garmany’s namesake clothing store on Broad Street is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: CLOTHIER LARRY GARMANY, 62

larry garmany 110107 3Larry Garmany outside his Broad Street store in November, 2007. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Laureano “Larry” Garmany, a high-end clothier whose sizable investments in downtown Red Bank helped fuel its recovery from economic torpor back to prosperity in the 1990s, died Saturday.

No cause of death was given in an obituary published late Monday, but friends said the 62-year-old Colts Neck resident suffered a stroke early on the day he died.

Garmany, a Cuban immigrant-turned-retailer, bet heavily on Red Bank when it was widely derided as “Dead Bank,” and continually upped his stake in the town. His crowning achievements: transforming the vacant former Steinbach’s department store on Broad Street into a 40,000-square-foot clothing store bearing his name, and luring Tiffany & Co. to be its next-door neighbor.

Closing existing stores in New York City and Summit, “he took all his marbles so to speak and put them into one basket at a time when things weren’t looking so good for Red Bank,” former Mayor Ed McKenna said Monday. “His faith in our ability to resurrect the town was, for me personally, a real show of confidence, and made me feel better about the vision we had for bringing Red Bank back.”

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FAIR HAVEN: FEDS CHARGE $18 MILLION SCAM

just_in1The owner of an investment firm based in Fair Haven was arrested Monday on charges he ran an $18 million Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said.

Louis J. Spina, 56, formerly of Colts Neck, is alleged to have lost $8 million of that amount on stock trades and burned through the rest to pay his clients phony ‘returns,’ as well as for personal expenses, “including car purchases/payments, luxury apartment rental payments, and a $400,000 donation to a private university,” the office of United States Attorney Paul Fishman said in a prepared announcement.

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ADMITTED SCAMMER GETS SEVEN YEARS

hot-topic rightForty-one-year-old financial advisor Stephen Severio of Fair Haven was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday after admitting that he defrauded clients out of more than $700,000, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Many of the 34 clients Severio admitting bilking were elderly, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which handled the case.

According to the Press, Severio’s lawyer, Mitchell Ansell:

described Severio as a gambling addict and otherwise law-abiding citizen who lost his career and family, and ultimately all the money, due to his addiction.”What fuels him is in no way an excuse for what he did,” Ansell said.

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