What to Know
- Authorities say they've seized more than $1 million in cash, gold and diamonds acquired in a money laundering scheme
- The stash was uncovered after a 36-year-old man was arrested in a deadly hit-and-run in North Bergen in September
- The man and two women allegedly conspired to launder money; some of the cash, gold and diamonds were found in their safety deposit boxes
An investigations into a deadly hit-and-run crash in New Jersey has led to the arrest of two women and the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold and diamond rings, authorities say.
Police said 37-year-old Melissa Coda, of Teaneck, and 30-year-old Yesenia Suriel, of Brooklyn were co-conspirators in a money laundering scheme with Olvy Torres, a 36-year-old man who was previously arrested for the September hit-and-run.
Authorities say they already seized $1 million in cash and bags of diamonds from Torres after he turned himself in for the crash in North Bergen, which killed a 59-year-old woman.
Coda and Suriel had more than $325,000 in cash, two kilograms of gold worth more than $40,000, and two diamond rings concealed in two safety deposit boxes, according to police.
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Raymond Worrall said authorities believe the loot was part of a money laundering scheme. He said both women were charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Torres has also been charged with money laundering and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He could face more than a decade in prison if convicted of both charges.
At his detention hearing, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Lynne Seborowski said Torres is a “ghost” who has no residence and unlimited resources, according to NJ.com. She also referred to the island nation of Seychelles off the coast of east Africa, saying it was known to be a location for money laundering.
Torres was ordered detained through the course of his prosecution.
It wasn’t immediately known if Coda, Suriel or Torres had an attorney who could comment on the case.