Former N.J. Resident Sentenced for Insurance Fraud

August 4, 2003

Attorney General Peter C. Harvey announced that a former Burlington County, N.J. man has been sentenced for falsely reporting that his automobile had been stolen in order to collect more than $12,000 from an insurance company.

According to Vaughn L. McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Robert E. Smith, 45, formerly of Coronet Terrace, Burlington, pled guilty to theft by deception (3rd degree) before Burlington County Superior Court Judge Marvin E. Schlosser. Immediately following Smith’s guilty plea, Judge Schlosser sentenced him to 64 days in the Burlington County Jail (time served as of the sentence date), two years probation, payment of $9,000 in restitution to the Allstate Insurance Company, and to pay a $5,000 civil insurance fraud fine.

Smith had been indicted by the Burlington County Grand Jury Oct. 17, 2002. The indictment charged theft by deception, unsworn falsification to authorities, and falsifying or tampering with records. At the guilty plea hearing, Smith admitted that he falsely reported his former wife’s 1994 Saab 900 stolen from the Moorestown Mall parking lot on Oct. 14, 1999. The stolen vehicle report was filed with the Moorestown Police Department. The indictment alleged that on Oct. 26, 1999, Smith signed and submitted an Affidavit of Theft to Allstate Insurance Company which represented that the vehicle had been stolen from the Moorestown Mall. Two weeks prior to the purported theft, the 1994 Saab 900 had been involved in a police chase and abandoned in Camden City. The Camden Police impounded the car and records determined that the vehicle was towed to a garage in Pennsauken where it remained until June 18, 2001. As a result of the fraudulent claim, Allstate Insurance Company paid Smith approximately $12,000 for the loss of the Saab.

The investigation was coordinated by the Division of Criminal Justice -Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor which investigates and prosecutes civil and criminal insurance fraud cases. State Investigator John Collins, Civil Investigator Gene Fayer and Deputy Attorney General Beth A. Hardy were assigned to the investigation. DAG Hardy represented the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor before the Burlington County Grand Jury and at the guilty plea hearing.

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