Heirs to murdered millionaire Novack sought
By Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. February 27, 2012
A genealogist has been brought in to find additional heirs to the fortune left by murdered hotel heir, Ben Novack. Under Florida’s slayer statute, if Nancy Novack, Ben Novack’s wife, is convicted of his murder, she will lose all rights to his wealth.
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Ben Novack’s family tree may reveal yet more potential heirs to the slain hotel heir’s fortune.
BY JULIE K. BROWN
An international genealogist who specializes in hunting down long-lost heirs has been brought into the battle over the riches left by Ben Novack Jr., the Miami hotel heir who was bludgeoned to death in 2009.
Lawyers representing a branch of the Novack family hope to wrestle the estate out of the hands of Novack’s wife, Narcy, a former stripper who is accused of watching two hitmen beat him with barbells and then ordering them to gouge out his eyes.
Novack, 53, and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, 55, are scheduled to stand trial in April on charges of arranging the murders of Novack and his mother, Bernice, who was once married to Ben Novack Sr., builder of the world-famous Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.
Lawyers representing Bernice Novack’s sister, Maxine Fiel, filed a petition in Broward County probate court Wednesday, asking the court to determine the rightful heirs to the family fortune, estimated at between $6 million and $10 million. An unknown amount of cash is also believed to be stashed in overseas bank accounts.
“Our goal is to see that justice is served and to ensure that the funds from the estate do not go to anybody profiting directly or indirectly from the alleged murder,’’ said Harvey E. Morse, the genealogist brought in to investigate the family’s lineage.
Under his will, Ben Novack Jr., 52, left his entire estate, including his multimillion-dollar Batman collection, to his wife. Narcy Novack said she found her husband’s body, bound and gagged, in their Rye Brook, N.Y. hotel room in July 2009. A year later, she and Veliz were arrested and charged with his murder. Prosecutors also allege that they hired two hitmen to beat his mother, whose bloody corpse was found in her Fort Lauderdale home three months before her son was killed.
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