LAKEWOOD — Two Lakewood men – David Faria and Chaim Gottlieb – have been accused accused of faking a FEMA grant letter in order to con a bank out of a loan of more than $75,000, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced Thursday.
Faria and Gottlieb, both 42, were charged with theft by deception, theft and falsifying records.
OceanFirst Bank contacted Detective James Conroy of the prosecutor’s office in early August about the letter the men had presented, claiming a $150,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Faria and Gottlieb had hoped the letter would convince the bank to approve a loan of more than $75,000 to buy two Ford vehicles for their Lakewood business, Ocean County Search & Rescue Co., the prosecutor’s office said.
FEMA officials helped confirm the letter was phony. The two men were arrested Wednesday afternoon yesterday at their homes. The arrest warrants were executed by Conroy along with fellow prosecutor’s office detectives Brad Frank and Amanda O’Mara, with help from Lakewood police.
State Superior Court Judge Wendel Daniels set each of their bails at $25,000 with no 10 percent option. Gottlieb was freed on bail, while Faria was still in Ocean County Jail Thursday.