On Tuesday, federal authorities charged the widow of a wealthy hotel heir and her brother with April 2009 slaying of her mother-in-law, who was killed in her Florida home three months before her son’s murder at the Rye Town Hilton in Rye Brook.
Narcisa “Narcy” Novack and her brother, Cristobal Feliz were , Ben Novack, the son of the founder of the famed Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami. However, a new 11-count federal indictment released Tuesday alleges that Novack and her brother also played a role in the death of her husband’s mother, Bernice Novack.
Authorities also have charged the pair with racketeering in connection with Ben Novack’s murder and crimes after his death that allegedly included stealing $95,000 from Mr. Novack’s cosmetics company, plotting to have a witness in the case killed and conspiring to pay witnesses to provide false testimony to authorities.
Authorities allege that Narcy Novack and her brother directed two unnamed co-conspirators to burglarize the Fort Lauderdale home of Bernice Novack on April 4, 2009. During the burglary, the suspects assaulted Novack and killed her. Bernice Novack’s death was initially ruled an accident, even though large amounts of her blood were found in several rooms of her Florida home.
However, authorities began to suspect that she may have been murdered when her son, Ben Novack, was killed in his hotel suite at the Rye Town Hilton three months later.
Narcy Novack, Feliz and their co-conspirators, allegedly robbed, beat and stabbed Ben Novack during the July 2009 slaying.
According to an indictment released last summer, Mrs. Novack opened the door to her hotel suite to allow two other suspects—Denis Ramirez, the father of Veliz's grandchildren and Joel Gonzalez of Miami—into her room to attack her husband.
The suspects had traveled all the way from Florida to commit the murder, which authorities allege was motivated by money.
Once Gonzalez and Ramirez entered the room, they attacked Novack, tied him up and beat him to death. Mrs. Novack allegedly placed a pillow over her husband's face as he was being assaulted, according to the indictment.
The day after her husband’s murder, Narcy Novack allegedly stole $95,000 from her husband’s cosmetics company, Convention Concepts Unlimited. Between July and August of 2010, Mrs. Novack also allegedly laundered more than $10,000 from her husband’s bank account, and distributed that money and the stolen $95,000 to one of her co-conspirators.
Authorities also allege that Novack and her brother tried to interfere with the investigation of the Novack murders.
Cristobal Veliz has been charged with witness tampering for allegedly soliciting someone to kill one of his co-conspirators to prevent that person from reporting any information to police about the murders of Ben and Bernice Novack. After he was arrested last July, Veliz also threatened and allegedly offered another co-conspirator money to falsely testify that Narcy Novack’s daughter, May Abad, had killed Ben Novack. Authorities also have accused Narcy Novack of attempting to bribe the same co-conspirator.
If convicted, Novack and her brother could face life in prison. Authorities also are seeking to have Novack forfeit all of her husband’s multi-million estate—which includes multiple cars, Florida homes and Batman memorabilia—if she is convicted of the charges.
Both defendants will be arraigned on April 8 at 10 a.m. in U.S. District Court.