NYSID Announces Arrest of Man Who Sold False N.J. Auto Insurance to New Yorkers

April 25, 2003

New York’s Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio announced that a joint investigation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and New York Police Department has resulted in the arrest of Jose Morel, 49, on charges of insurance fraud, possession of a forged instrument, and falsifying business records for allegedly providing New Yorkers with fraudulent New Jersey auto insurance.

The NYSID bulletin noted that the investigation was triggered by State Farm Insurance, which provided the Department with a false insurance I.D. card it had discovered. As a result, an undercover agent went to see Morel at Siara Buss. & Associates requesting insurance for a vehicle. Morel, who is not a licensed broker, allegedly advised the agent that he could provide New Jersey auto ID cards for a fee of $700, and did so. When the undercover agent provided the money, he received New Jersey plates and a fraudulent New Jersey State Farm insurance card.

Morel was arrested Tuesday and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. The investigation is continuing, and the NYSID urged any New Yorkers who may have questions or concerns about their dealings with Mr. Morel or Siara Buss. & Associates to call the Insurance Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-342-3736.

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