Narcy Novack and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, were sentenced to life in prison Monday for plotting the grisly 2009 slayings of Novack's millionaire husband and his mother.
Novack, 55, and Veliz, 59, were convicted in June of the brutal death of Ben Novack Jr., son of the founder of the famed Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. They also were found guilty of ordering the deadly attack on Bernice Novack in April 2009.
"The defendants are pathological liars. They are extraordinarily dangerous sociopaths," Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Jacobson said Monday. "They are responsible for the death of two innocent human beings and they must be made to pay."
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas told a crowded courtroom, which included Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, that he had never handed out such stiff sentences.
"Because of Ms. Novack's greed and her selfishness and what she thought was her ability to manipulate others there are two innocent people -- her husband and her mother-in-law -- who are dead."
As she did when the jury found her guilty, Narcy Novack refused to be in the courtroom to hear her sentence.
Dressed in blue prison garb, her long graying hair tied by two rubber bands in a pony tail, Narcy Novack, a former stripper, nonchalantly waived her right to hear her sentence under questioning by Karas before the hearing began.
"You want to absent yourself from this sentencing?" Karas asked her.
She sat with her head tilted to one side and calmly said, "Yes, I do."
She then was led out of the courtroom through a side door by deputy U.S. Marshals.
Karas said the refusal to be in the court, like the killings, was evidence she was a coward.
"Her final act of cowardice was walking out of this courtroom today," he said
Veliz, who looked pale and drawn, continued to deny his guilt Monday. As he did during the trial, Veliz repeatedly blamed Narcy Novack's daughter for the crimes.
"The real criminal, the one who arranged this whole thing, was May Abad. They have no evidence against me. I don't know what I'm doing here."
Jacobson said May Abad was interviewed several times, including by him. "There is absolutely nothing in the evidence to indicate that Ms. Abad was involved in these homicides," he said.
Ben Novack Jr. was bound with duct tape and beaten to death with dumbbells by hit men sent by his wife and brother-in-law during a July 12, 2009, attack at the Rye Brook Hilton. His mother, 84-year-old Bernice Novack, was beaten to death with a plumber's wrench on April 4, 2009, during an attack by a Veliz accomplice.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Narcy Novack wanted her estranged husband of 21 years and her mother-in-law dead so she could inherit the family fortune, estimated at $8 million. She feared that her husband was going to leave her for ex-porn actress Rebecca Bliss and that a prenuptial agreement would provide her with a mere $65,000.
Federal prosecutors said Novack recruited Veliz and a group of henchmen, who said they beat Bernice Novack in the head with a plumber's wrench and sliced the eyes of Ben Novack.
"Narcy Novack and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, have blood on their hands and unspeakable acts of violence to their names," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said after the sentencing. "And they will spend the rest of their lives in prison answering for what they did in the name of money."
DiFiore added that Veliz and Novack got the sentences they deserved.
"Narcy Novack and Cristobal Veliz are finally being held accountable for their gruesome and brutal conduct," DiFiore said. "It was pure greed that drove their evil scheme to steal millions of dollars from the Novack family by murdering Ben Novack Jr. (and) his elderly mother Bernice Novack."
Narcy Novack's attorney, Howard Tanner, said after court his client intends to appeal the verdict and the sentence.
"The sentence was not unexpected," he said. "She still asserts her innocence."
A lawyer for Veliz was not immediately available.