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Families of New Jersey Jail Suicide Victims Still Waiting for Settlement Payouts

Families who lost loved ones to suicide in New Jersey’s Cumberland County Jail (CCJ) were still waiting in early March 2024 for payouts from settlements reached two years ago or more. The delay is blamed on their now-imprisoned attorney, Conrad J. Benedetto, who provided the federal court for the District of New Jersey with “incomplete” settlement records, leading to appointment of a special master in July 2023.

Benedetto, 68, went to federal prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud in November 2022. Before that, as PLN reported, he helped secure settlements totaling almost $2.4 million in cases filed over seven CCJ suicides that occurred between 2014 and 2018. [See: PLN, Nov. 2023, p.22.] However, Plaintiffs have not received a dime, including the family of Megan Moore, 21, who hanged herself in the jail in 2017. A $500,000 settlement was reached in 2022, but the district court was compelled to appoint Special Master William M. Tambusi to oversee collection and distribution of funds on July 13, 2023. See: Est. of Moore v. Cumberland Cty., USDC (D.N.J.), Case No. 1:17-cv-02839. Meanwhile Tabatha Roman, a guard indicted for allegedly failing to perform checks on Moore, was still awaiting trial in 2023.

Benedetto is no stranger to controversy. In 2018, he was sued by two clients who survived the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, claiming his office manager sexually harassed them and pressured them to recruit fellow survivors as clients. That lawsuit was settled confidentially, but one of the men alleged in September 2023 that he was never paid. Benedetto’s law licenses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey were suspended after his guilty plea to tax fraud. His release from prison is expected in 2025.  


Additional sources: New Jersey Advanced Media, USA Today

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Related legal case

Est. of Moore v. Cumberland Cty.