Home New York Press Releases 2010 Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Narcisa Novack and Three Others in the Killing of Ben Novack at the Hilton Rye Town Hotel...

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Narcisa Novack and Three Others in the Killing of Ben Novack at the Hilton Rye Town Hotel

U.S. Attorney’s Office July 08, 2010
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JANET DiFIORE, the District Attorney of Westchester County, GEORGE VENIZELOS, the Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), GREGORY J. AUSTIN, the Chief of the Rye Brook Police Department, and GEORGE N. LONGWORTH, the Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, today announced the unsealing of an Indictment against NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK, a/k/a “Narcy Novack,” CRISTOBAL VELIZ, DENIS RAMIREZ, and JOEL GONZALEZ on charges stemming from the July 12, 2009, death of BEN NOVACK at the Hilton Rye Town hotel (the “Hilton Hotel”) in Rye Brook, New York.

According to the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court:

BEN NOVACK owned and operated Novack Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Convention Concepts Unlimited, a company which organized and oversaw conventions held by various businesses. On July 9, 2009, BEN NOVACK traveled with his wife, NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Rye Brook, New York, to oversee an Amway Convention at the Hilton Hotel. On the morning of July 12, 2009, BEN NOVACK was found dead in his suite at the Hilton Hotel.

NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK, VELIZ, RAMIREZ, and GONZALEZ allegedly conspired with others to attack BEN NOVACK, ultimately killing him. On two separate trips on July 2 and July 9, 2010, VELIZ, who is NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK’s brother, drove with other co-conspirators from southern Florida to New York. On July 10, 2009, GONZALEZ and a co-conspirator (“CC-1”) scouted the Hilton Hotel in preparation for the attack on BEN NOVACK.

On July 12, 2009, RAMIREZ drove GONZALEZ and CC-1 to the Hilton Hotel. NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK opened the door to her and BEN NOVACK’s suite at the Hilton Hotel so that GONZALEZ and CC-1 could gain access to BEN NOVACK. GONZALEZ and CC-1 then allegedly beat, cut, and bound BEN NOVACK. NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK also provided a pillow to GONZALEZ and CC-1 to place over the face of BEN NOVACK as he was being assaulted. He ultimately died in his suite from the attack.

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NARCISA VELIZ NOVACK, 53, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested this morning and appeared in Fort Lauderdale federal court earlier today. She was denied bail. VELIZ, 56, and RAMIREZ, 36, were arrested in Brooklyn, New York, this morning. They are expected to be arraigned in White Plains federal court later today. GONZALEZ, 25, of Miami, Florida, remains at large.

All four defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit interstate domestic violence and stalking, one count of interstate domestic violence, and one count of stalking. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, and maximum sentences of life in prison on the interstate domestic violence and stalking counts.

In addition to the criminal charges unsealed today, a civil Complaint is expected to be filed today seeking the forfeiture of the assets belonging to the defendants. U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Today, just four days short of the one-year anniversary of the heinous killing of Ben Novack, we announce the indictment of four individuals allegedly responsible for his death. As described in the Indictment, the plot that led to the brutal death of Ben Novack was a family affair. Because of the exceptional teamwork among federal, state, and local authorities, Narcy Novack and her coconspirators will be brought to justice for the crimes we charge today.”

JANET DiFIORE, the District Attorney of Westchester County stated: “What transpired on the morning of July 12, 2009, in Ben Novack’s hotel room was nothing short of a calculated plot. Thanks to the outstanding investigative police work and persistence by investigators from the Rye Brook Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the FBI, along with essential support from the Westchester Intelligence Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, these individuals will be brought to justice. Now, the one year anniversary of Ben Novack’s homicide will not only be remembered for his untimely death, but also for the arrest of the people charged with killing him.”

GEORGE VENIZELOS, the Acting Assistant Director-in- Charge of the FBI New York Field stated: “The killing of Ben Novack was not a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion. It was the end game of considerable planning. Likewise, the case was solved by a great deal of dogged police work by a well-coordinated team.”

FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos speaking at the press conference.
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos speaking at the press conference.
Photo credit: FBI

GREGORY J. AUSTIN, the Chief of the Rye Brook Police Department stated: “The Rye Brook Police Department is grateful to the many law enforcement agencies that assisted us with this investigation. Specifically, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the New York State Police, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The role that each agency played in this investigation has been immeasurable. The stalking and violent attack of Ben Novack, Jr., that led to his death on July 12, 2009, was an act of violence never before seen in Rye Brook and I am proud that these defendants will be held accountable for this crime.”

GEORGE N. LONGWORTH, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for the Westchester County Police Department, stated: “When police agencies share their resources, there is no crime that we can’t solve. In Westchester, this model of inter-agency cooperation was successful earlier this year in putting an end to a brazen spree of bank robberies. It was successful yet again in this case. It is a model I am committed to continuing in the future to make Westchester safer for all who live and work here.”

Mr. BHARARA praised the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Rye Brook Police Department, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the State Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Broward County), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, and the New York State Police, for their cooperative efforts in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. BHARARA added that the investigation is continuing.

Assistant United States Attorney ELLIOTT B. JACOBSON and JEFFREY ALBERTS are in charge of the prosecution, and are being assisted by Assistant District Attorneys PERRY PERRONE and FRED GREEN, of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.

- Update: Joel Jorge Gonzalez surrenders

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