Woman allegedly runs scam, posing as homeless mom
A 42-year-old North Bergen resident was arrested by police after she allegedly cashed more than $11,000 in checks, funds that belonged to an account of a woman who had previously taken her in when she was homeless, police said.
Lt. Christopher Brignola said that Lily Villarroel was arrested on April 10, concluding a investigation stemming back from Feb. 3, when a 66-year-old North Bergen resident called them.
According to the victim, she had received a phone call from Valley National Bank after two checks for $10,000 and $1,500 were cashed at the bank, which she had no knowledge of.
“These checks were evidently made out to [Villarroel],” said Brignola.
The victim told police that Villarroel showed up on her doorstep on Dec. 26 with a small child, claiming that her husband had left her and she had no place to go. The woman allowed Villarroel to live with her for a month, until she said that her boyfriend had found her a new apartment on Jan. 31, 2011 and moved out. Since then she had not heard from her.
Police believe that Villarroel allegedly stole the checks while she was living with the woman and allegedly made them out to herself and cashed them a month later.
Villarroel was charged with unlawful taking and forgery and her bail was set at $2,500.
Local theatre troupe hosts awards
The Park Players, a Hudson and Bergen County theatre group, held their Fourth Annual Mikkie Awards for Excellence recently, in which cast members are nominated by audience members throughout their season for awards such as best actor.
North Bergen residents Kay O’Reilly and Mariette Ng, for the performances in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Godspell” respectively, won best featured actresses in a tie. Ng also was named the best choreographer for her work in “Godspell.”
Kay Koch, of Jersey City, was named best actress for her role in “Godspell,” and Patrick Noble, of Jersey City, won best featured actor for his part in “Forum.”
Many others won awards at the event held at Antonia’s by the Park in North Bergen last Sunday.
PMC scheduled to host seminars
On April 21 Palisades Medical Center is scheduled to host a free health seminar on weight loss surgical options from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Then on April 25 the hospital will host a breast cancer seminar from the same times.
Free food, refreshments, and parking will be provided.
Free transportation will be available from 5:30 p.m. from 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue for both events.
For more information, call (201) 854-5000 or visit www.palisadesmedical.org.
Emergency funding available for PSE&G customers
Customers who are struggling to pay for their winter heating bills will have until May 2 to file for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds.
Those have already qualified for this assistance this past winter may no longer qualify for it again, but may be eligible for an additional $450 to be applied toward their utility bill.
To see if your household qualifies under the guidelines and where to apply, visit www.pseg.com/help or call 1(800) 510-3102 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Applications are also available at the PSE&G’s 16 walk-in customer service centers listed on your bill.
Customers who apply for LIHEAP help are automatically screened for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Universal Service Fund (USF), a program that could take up to $150 off of their bill each month.
Those who do not qualify for assistance may visit www.pseg.com/help for other forms of assistance.