N.J. Auto Repair Shop Owner Ordered to Pay Civil Penalty After Admitting Attempted Fraud

March 16, 2004

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Morris County auto repair shop owner was ordered by Bergen County Superior Court Judge Sebastian Gaeta to pay a civil insurance fraud fine for falsely reporting his car stolen in order to collect more than $4,000 insurance proceeds.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Vincent Torrone, 32, Weaver Place, of Morris County, was sentenced by Judge Gaeta to pay a $3,000 civil insurance fraud fine pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act and to serve two years probation.

Brown noted that Torrone was charged with attempted theft by deception via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on March 18, 2003. Torrone subsequently pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2004, before Judge Gaeta.

In pleading guilty, Torrone, the owner of The Import Specialist, a Paramus auto repair shop, reportedly admitted that on Feb. 1, 2001, he reported his 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis stolen to the Paramus Police Department. On the same date, Torrone submitted a $4,325 vehicle theft claim to the Motor Club of America (MCA). MCA investigated and denied the claim, referring the case to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor revealed that the 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis which Torrone reported stolen was actually recovered by the NYPD on Jan. 28, 2001 in New York City.

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