January 16, 2019
appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division,
Middlesex County, Indictment No. 18-02-0295.
M. Liston, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for
appellant (Andrew C. Carey, Middlesex County Prosecutor,
attorney; David M. Liston, of counsel and on the brief).
M. Mark argued the cause for respondent (Law Offices of Eric
M. Mark, attorneys; Eric M. Mark, on the brief).
Judges Fuentes, Accurso and Vernoia.
State appeals from an order dismissing an indictment charging
defendant Robert Aloi with second-degree attempted theft by
extortion. Based on our review of the record in light of the
applicable law, we conclude the court erred by finding the
State failed to present sufficient evidence to the grand jury
establishing territorial jurisdiction over the alleged
offense in the State of New Jersey pursuant to N.J.S.A.
2C:1-3(a), and reverse.
was charged in an indictment with second-degree attempted
theft by extortion, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5(c).
The indictment alleged that in August and September 2017, in
the Township of Edison, defendant purposely attempted to
obtain property from H.R. by making threats to expose or
publicize secret or asserted facts tending to subject H.R. to
hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair his reputation and
took the substantial step of communicating the threats to
H.R.'s representative for the purpose of obtaining money
in exchange for not making the threatened disclosures.
evidence presented to the grand jury showed that in 2017
defendant contacted a New York charitable organization to
"get in touch with H.R.," a member of the
charity's board. The organization forwarded
defendant's information to H.R.'s lawyer, whose
office is located in Edison, New Jersey.
attorney called defendant from her office and recorded the
call. Defendant, who lives and works in Maryland, told the
attorney he had information that H.R. paid women for sex and
physically abused the women. Defendant referenced a New York
Police Department report about an incident involving H.R. at
his New York apartment, and said he had information
concerning the matter beyond what was included in the police
report. Defendant said he knew defendant was married and sat
on the boards of several charities, and referred to the
potential consequences for H.R. if the information he
possessed became public.
August 23, 2017 email from defendant to the attorney, he made
various demands in exchange for his agreement not to release
the information concerning H.R. to the public. One of the
demands was that H.R. donate $9.95 million to an alleged
charity, "No Fear Against Abuse," which is
registered at defendant's personal address in Maryland.
The putative charity was incorporated less than three weeks
before defendant communicated his demands to the attorney and
its website includes the email address from which defendant
emailed his demands.
her receipt of the email, the attorney went to the Middlesex
County Prosecutor's Office, where she had a recorded
telephone call with defendant. The attorney asked how much of
the demanded $9.95 million defendant would personally receive
and he said it is "[n]one of your business."
Defendant explained the money would be paid to women who had
been involved with defendant and that he would receive
compensation in the form of company vehicles and office
space. Defendant refused to identify the women who would
allegedly receive the money, and later reduced his demand to
$3.7 million. Defendant was never paid any of the money he
the attorney's communications with defendant occurred
while she was in New Jersey. There was no evidence presented
that defendant was in the State when he communicated with the
attorney. Defendant and the attorney scheduled a ...