Former N.J. Police Officer Sentenced to Jail as Part of Organized Fraud Scam

October 8, 2003

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a former Camden City Police Sergeant was sentenced for insurance fraud and related charges following a guilty verdict on Aug. 7, after a six-day trial before Camden County Superior Court Judge John McNeill, III.

According to Vaughn McKoy, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Thomas G. DiPatri, 54, of Egg Harbor Twp., Atlantic County, was sentenced last week to three years in State prison.

DiPatri was convicted on Aug. 7 of reported conspiracy, bribery, official misconduct and criminal use of runners.

Brown noted that DiPatri, a former Sergeant in the Camden City Police Department, was charged by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor via a State Grand Jury indictment on March 27, 2002. The indictment charged one count of conspiracy (2nd degree), two counts of bribery (2nd degree), one count of official misconduct (2nd degree), and one count of criminal use of runners (3rd degree). The State Grand Jury indictment also charged Jerome F. Bollettieri, 41, of Camden County. Bollettieri, a Lieutenant in the Camden City Police Department, has been suspended from his police responsibilities. Bollettieri’s trail is pending in Camden County Superior Court.

The indictment charged and the trial court reportedly determined that DiPatri paid Bollettieri for official Camden Police Department accident reports and that DiPatri would then solicit the accident victims and individuals named in the reports through the use of “runners” to secure business for a chiropractic facility. New Jersey’s criminal “runners” statute became effective on July 12, 1999 and criminalized the use of “runners” by health care professionals, employees and others.

By finding DiPatri guilty, Judge McNeill determined that between January, 1999 and October, 2000, DiPatri illegally obtained numerous Camden City Police Department motor vehicle accident reports by reportedly paying bribes to Bollettieri, the officer then in charge of the Camden City Police Department’s Traffic Bureau.

During the trial, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor presented evidence that Bollettieri reportedly left the reports in his vehicle for later pick up by DiPatri. The evidence also showed that DiPatri delivered the illegally obtained accident reports to American Spinal Care, Inc., a chiropractic facility located on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, so that individuals listed on the reports could be solicited as clients for treatment and insurance claims submitted to insurance companies.

As part of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s investigation, another retired Camden City Police Sergeant and an official employed by American Spinal Care, Inc. have been charged in a separate but related State Grand Jury indictment handed up on August 5, 2002.

Retired Camden Police Sgt. Philip N. Ferrari, 64, of Cherry Hill, Camden County and Charles Warrington, II, 29, a Cherry Hill resident and officer of the chiropractic facility, were each charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bribery, one count of aiding and abetting official misconduct, and one count of criminal use of a runner.

The indictment charged Ferrari and Warrington with reportedly acting as “runners” and of using the illegally obtained police reports to identify and solicit the individuals identified in the reports for treatment as patients at American Spinal Care, Inc. Ferrari and Warrington are also pending trial.

Bollettieri and DiPatri were arrested on the criminal charges in October, 2000 by state investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and representatives from the New Jersey State Police and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

Bollettieri was suspended from the Camden Police Department the day of his arrest. DiPatri retired from the Camden Police Department in early 1999.

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