A Northfield (NJ) attorney who used her work with elderly clients to bilk them out of millions was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.
“I and I alone allowed this to happen,” Barbara Lieberman told the judge before being sentenced. “I alone put my law license and the integrity of the legal profession at risk. I’m fully to blame here, your honor.”
Lieberman, 63, must serve at least 3½ years in prison before she is eligible for parole under a plea agreement. She also forfeited $3 million in restitution and an additional $1.4 million in taxes, penalties and other fees. She lost her license as well.
The case began when the Office of the Guardian came forward about a woman they believed was being financially exploited, State Police Sgt. Richard Wheeler explained.
“She was feisty,” Wheeler said of the victim, Irma Schwarzberg, 93, who was living in a senior facility in Cape May Court House. Schwarzberg, who died at 94, lost $112,000.
Wheeler and Deputy Attorney General Yvonne Maher combed through bank records and reams of paperwork for 2½ years to tie together a case that ended up with 17 named victims defrauded of nearly $3.9 million, allegedly split among Lieberman and four others who were all recently indicted in the case.