N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Defraud Insurer

March 10, 2004

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Gloucester County man has pleaded in Superior Court guilty to charges that he submitted phony documents in order to illegally obtain insurance settlement monies.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Ronald K. Smith, 38, of Gloucester County, pled guilty before Gloucester County Superior Court Judge John Tomasello to a criminal Accusation which charged third degree attempted theft by deception. A third degree crime carries a sentence of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000 upon conviction. Additionally, Smith may face civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the civil Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

Gooden Brown noted that in pleading guilty, Smith admitted that between April 30, 2001 and Sept. 24, 2001, to submitting a phony Proof of Purchase Agreement from National Auto Sales reflecting that he had purchased a 1991 Honda Acura for $18,018.

Smith reportedly admitted that the car was purchased by a relative at an automobile auction for approximately $5,000 and that he (Smith) subsequently purchased the car from the relative for $100. Smith admitted that he falsified the National Auto Sales purchase agreement to inflate the amount of the theft claim in order to collect an insurance settlement from the Allstate Insurance Company. Smith is scheduled to appear before Judge Tomasello on April 18 for sentencing.

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