Alleged Embezzlement at Forrestal Village

New in Town: Ambient

New in Town: Syntra

Start-Ups: Stockbroker

Expansions: Skalka

Crosstown Moves

Stock News: Liposome

Management Moves

Deaths

Corrections or additions?

Life in the Fast Lane

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 16, 1998. All rights reserved.

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Alleged Embezzlement at Forrestal Village

At Princeton Forrestal Village an assistant to a former Merrill Lynch executive allegedly embezzled more than $2.2 million from her employer's account. Abraham Chasnoff, assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County, says that just prior to Thanksgiving Jeanne Gaston was arrested and charged with forgery and theft by deception; she has been released on $75,000 bail. Her husband, Earl Gaston, was charged with receiving the stolen monies; he was released on $25,000 bail.

Jeanne Gaston had worked for Vincent B. Murphy Jr. for 15 years. Four years ago he retired from his Wall Street job and opened an office to manage private investments at HQ, the shared office center at 116 Village Boulevard. She continued to work for him there.

The following year she and her husband reportedly moved from a house in Kendall Park to a house valued at more than $500,000 in Hopewell. What Jeanne Gaston earned by working for Murphy has not been revealed, but Chasnoff says that he has learned that her husband worked from their home, selling telephone cards.

A condition of Earl Gaston's bail was that he forfeit the title to the couple's 1998 Lincoln Navigator, worth $44,000. Bank accounts were seized. Scott Krasny represents the husband and George Yuska represents the wife. Neither Krasny, the Gastons, nor Murphy responded to calls asking for information.

These charges represent a second degree crime. The maximum penalty could be 5 to 10 years in jail and a fine of $150,000. "The case is in the investigation stage," says Chasnoff.

Vincent B. Murphy Jr., 116 Village Boulevard, Suite 200, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540-5799. 609-951-2219; fax, 609-520-1702.

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New in Town: Ambient

Ambient Engineering Inc., 5 Crescent Avenue, Suite A-1, Box 279, Rocky Hill 08553. 609-279-6888; fax, 609-279-9444.

A baghouse, a scrubber, an electrostatic precipitator, and a biofilter. Though this list may sound like an order form for the Electrolux firm, it actually concerns a different kind of cleansing process -- air pollution control of odors and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).

Ambient Engineering, an environmental engineering firm, moved from 2,200 square feet in Matawan to 1,100 square feet at Crescent Avenue last fall to be close to its parent company International Hydronics. It designs, installs, and services air pollution equipment including all of the paraphernalia named.

"We need to expand, and hopefully we will do that in this building," says Eleanore Whitaker, office manager. Five people work in this office, and numerous subcontractors are used. Robert Bruns heads both International Hydronics and Ambient Engineering. John Yavorsky, who has a doctor's degree from MIT, is the vice president of chemical engineering. Barry Hall, the engineering manager who designs the equipment and coordinates the projects, is a co-founder.

A "baghouse," in case you were wondering, is a bag that traps dust and, to some extent, odors. It has a fan that pulls dusty air into one area and traps it in another area. When it comes to disposing of the dust, Ambient is one of two companies in the nation, Whitaker says, that has the license from Monsanto to use biomedia for a biofiltration process. "The idea is to have zero residual contaminants," she says, "to make it totally biodegradable."

For example, if you lived next door to a cookie factory, you might get tired of the 24-hour odor. "The old way would be to scrub the cookie smell out of the air screen during the baking process. Because New Jersey is so environmentally intense about their compliance laws, we are trying to get zero remnants." After trapping the contaminants in self contained units, use of biomedia reduces them. Zero remnants means zero trips to the landfill.

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New in Town: Syntra

Syntra Ltd., 812 State Road, Suite 215, Princeton 08540. Albert Impink, technical designer. 212-714-0440; fax, 212-967-4623. E-mail: aimpink@syntra.com. Home page: http://www.syntra.com.

Albert Impink, a technical designer for a Manhattan-based software firm, has opened a satellite office for convenient access to some of the firm's clients, which include Lucent Technologies and BASF. Syntra's product, Global Logistic Systems, helps manage imports and exports and is configured for individual Fortune 100 clients. Impink went to American University, Class of 1980. The headquarters is at 505 8th Avenue, NY 10018.

Ulico Casualty, 7 Centre Drive, Suite 14. Cynthia Meyer. 609-409-1490; fax, 609-409-1495. E-mail: kcablock@aol.com.

In order to be closer to his home, Chris Block has moved an office of a construction surety bonds firm, based in Washington, D.C., from Middletown to Centre Drive. The law requires construction companies that do public work to buy bonds as a guarantee not to waste taxpayers money. The bonds can run from $50,000 to $5 million.

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Start-Ups: Stockbroker

The Wall Street Investment Group Ltd., 162 West State Street, Suite 2, Trenton 08608. Dee Scott Huggins, stockbroker. 609-393-8300.

Dee Scott Huggins has opened a full-service investment and securities business, the first one in two decades to be located in the city of Trenton.

An alumna of Trenton Central High School, Class of 1969, the went to Boston University and has a master's degree from the University of Houston. She had been a nurse and a hospital administrator before going to work for IBM. In 1980 she went into financial services and worked at Dean Witter, Merrill Lynch and Shearson Lehman. Huggins also has a suite on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Huggins offers all areas of investments and securities except currencies and commodities.

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Expansions: Skalka

Anne Skalka & Associates CPA, 168 Franklin Corner Road, Building 2 Suite 202, Lawrenceville 08648. Anne Skalka CPA, president. 609-844-1074; fax, 609-844-0706. E-mail: SkalkaCPA@aol.com.

Anne Skalka has moved her accounting form from shared space to Franklin Corner Road and has a new fax number. Anne LaBatte of Stephen M. Segal Inc helped her find the space. "I had met Anne through for Accountants for Public Interest," says Skalka.

Skalka majored in accounting at Rutgers, Class of 1980, and worked for firms in New York and Princeton, the most recent being Druker Rahl & Fein. Her clients include the Waldorf School, Princeton Securities (a Nasdaq broker dealer at Canal Pointe), Phoenix Printing on Maple Avenue in Trenton, and T.J. Jeffery Clarke Architects.

Stephen R. Thomas Actuarial Associates Inc., 1 Nami Lane, Trenton 08619. Stephen R. Thomas, president. 609-912-0818; fax, 609-912-0828.

This four person actuarial office, founded by Stephen Thomas in 1997, moved from 3131 Princeton Pike to Nami Lane.

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Crosstown Moves

Ellentuck & Springer, 100 Canal Pointe Boulevard, Suite 202, Princeton 08540. James R. Springer, partner. 609-452-7400; fax, 609-452-7407. E-mail: jrs@drtv.com. Home page: http://www.DRTV.com.

Ellentuck & Springer has moved from 12 Roszel Road to 100 Canal Pointe Boulevard, and has the same phone and fax. Founded in 1976, Ellentuck & Springer specializes in direct response broadcast, for television, cable, and radio campaigns for direct marketing companies.

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Stock News: Liposome

The Liposome Company (Nasdaq: LIPO) has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for Evacet to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Evacet is designed to reduce the serious side effects associated with a particular therapy for advanced breast cancer. Evacet is a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin.

"The approval of Evacet would represent a significant step forward for those who suffer from advanced stage breast cancer and their families," says Charles A. Baker, chairman and CEO. "Although doxorubicin is considered the gold standard for treating breast cancer, its utility is limited by cardiac toxicity. Evacet significantly reduces this risk to the patient."

The Liposome Company Inc., 1 Research Way, Princeton 08540. Charles A. Baker, chairman and CEO. 609-452-7060; fax, 609-452-1890. Home page: http://www.lipo.com.

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Management Moves

New Jersey Department of State, State House, CN 300, Trenton 08625-0300, 609-984-1900; fax 609-292-7655. Rev. DeForest Soaries, secretary of state.

Gov. Christie Whitman has nominated the Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries to be the next secretary of state. He will replace Carol Cronheim, who has been serving as acting secretary since Lonna R. Hooks resigned in July.

Soaries has a bachelor's degree from Fordham, a master's degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctor's degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. In the eight years since Soaries became the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, it grew by 3,500 members and is one of the fastest growing African-American churches in the state.

He founded the first Baptist Community Development Corporation, the Renaissance Community Development Credit Union, the CDC Properties housing company, and several other programs in Franklin and New Brunswick. Soaries also hosts a New Jersey Network program that focuses on helping teenagers find solutions to their problems.

His official job is to supervise the arts, humanities, and historical treasures of the state, lead the Martin Luther King Commission, and lead the "Many Faces One Family" program. But as Whitman says, "Rev. Soaries' abilities are so extensive and varied that I expect that he will be an advisor on issues that transcend departmental lines. He will be actively involved in advising me on issues beyond the traditional responsibilities of the Secretary of State, including urban redevelopment."

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Deaths

Frederick Landmann, 65, on December 3. He was group vice president of McGraw Hill Computer and Communications.

Beatrice "Bette" Todaro Velit, 61, on December 8. She worked at Educational Testing Service.


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