Law & Justice

Executive Director of East Orange Non-Profit Admits Stealing from Low-Income Housing Project

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NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the former executive director of an East Orange non-profit development agency pled guilty today before the Honorable Peter Ryan, Judge of the Superior Court, to stealing $380,000 from a nonprofit developer of low-income housing over a five year period.

Lancie Marchan, 64, currently of North Brunswick, was executive director of the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation. From 2005 to 2010, she stole funds to finance a lavish lifestyle that included refurnishing her former residence in Orange, trips, hotel stays at casinos, jewelry and other personal expenses, according to Assistant Prosecutor Robert Grady, who handled the case.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Marchan is expected to be sentenced to five years in state prison when she is sentenced on Jan. 23. The plea agreement also calls for charges to be dismissed against her 67-year-old twin brothers Arthur Werts of Chesterfield, Va., and Artemus Werts of Plainfield. 

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At the time of the theft, EORDC was partnering with a private corporation to build low-income housing. The housing was built but private investors had to come up with additional funds, Grady said. 

The investigation was conducted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General. 

In addition to Assistant Prosecutor Grady, Acting Prosecutor Murray lauded Detective Daniel Cokelet and Special Agent George Dietz from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General for their outstanding work on this case. 

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