Wife paid for hubby's murder to get hotel
An American federal jury has convicted a woman for directing hit men to beat to death her husband and his mother, heirs to a famed luxury Miami hotel, in an attempt to seize her husband's assets.
Narcy Novack, 55, and her brother Cristobal Veliz, 58, were found guilty of charges related to the grisly and fatal beatings in 2009 of Ben Novack Jr and Bernice Novack, members of the family that built the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.
The verdict came after a nine-week jury trial at US District Court for Southern District of New York in White Plains. Narcy and Cristobal were convicted of racketeering, conspiracy and four counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering. Both face up to life in prison in sentencing set for 1st November.
"These defendants, modern day 'public enemies', planned, orchestrated, enlisted accomplices and assisted in the brutal killing of Ben Novack Jr and his mother," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a joint statement made with the US Attorney's office.
Ben, 52, was the son of the man who built the sprawling hotel in Miami Beach in 1952. The resort has provided the backdrop for scenes in films such as Goldfinger, The Bodyguard and Scarface. Prosecutors said Narcy and her brother were motivated by greed when they hired the hit men.
Ben died of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma in July 2009 in a hotel room in Rye Brook, New York, after two of the men hired by Narcy and Cristobal struck him with dumbbells and used a box cutter to cut his eyes. Narcy, who let the men into the hotel room, gave them a pillow to muffle her husband's screams as they used duct tape to cover his mouth and tied him up.
Bernice, 86, was attacked in April 2009 in the garage of her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was hit in the head and mouth with a monkey wrench and died shortly after on the floor of her home, the statement said.
After the deaths, Narcy stole about US$100,000 from Ben's company and laundered most of the funds through bank accounts in Florida and New York. Both men who carried out the attacks have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Published: 3rd July 2012