I am so sorry that you are going through this. In NJ, you can sue for all of the back rent you have paid if you were rented an illegal apartment. The Landlord is not allowed to turn off the utilities and you can seek damages for that. The biggest issue here is determining if the actual owner of the property was aware or should have been aware that this unit was rented to you. Absent any authority given to the tenant, that tenant was not allowed to rent that space to you.