New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged two Middlesex County residents with filing false insurance or “jump-in” claims in order to collect thousands of dollars in insurance pay-outs for nonexistent injuries sustained in accidents in which they were not involved.
According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, separate Middlesex County Grand Jury indictments charge Owen Tracy, 38, of Woodbridge Township and Wanda R. Middleton, 33, of New Brunswick, with Health Care Claims Fraud (2nd degree) and attempted theft by deception (3rd degree).
Tracy was additionally charged with false swearing (4th degree). If convicted on all charges, Tracy faces up to 161/2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $175,000 while Middleton faces up to 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $165,000. Both defendants face possible civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.
The first Middlesex County Grand Jury indictment alleges that on Sept. 8, 2001, Tracy’s girlfriend was involved in a motor vehicle accident while traveling in Perth Amboy.
The indictment alleges that Tracy, who was not in the car at the time of the accident, subsequently filed a $1,672 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance claim with Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company. In filing the fraudulent claim, Tracy submitted an affidavit indicating that he was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident; that he did not have insurance coverage; and that he was entitled to insurance benefits because of “injuries” sustained while a passenger in the girlfriend’s insured vehicle. Rutgers Casualty denied the claim and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation.
The second indictment charges Middleton with orchestrating a similar “jump-in” insurance fraud scam to obtain a cash settlement for non-existent injuries sustained in an accident in which she was not involved.
The indictment alleges that Middleton claimed she was injured in a Sept. 8, 2001 two-car motor vehicle accident which occurred in Edison. Subsequent investigation determined that one of the vehicles involved in the accident was occupied by the driver and two passengers, while the second vehicle was occupied by only the driver. It is alleged that Middleton, who was not in either vehicle and was not involved in the accident, submitted a series of false Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance claims with NJ Cure Insurance claiming she was a passenger in the insured’s car and was injured in the accident.
The PIP claims totaled more than $16,000 and sought payment for medial treatments purportedly provided to Middleton. NJ Cure denied the claims and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation and prosecution.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.