New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged a Hudson County man with concocting an automobile “give up” scheme to collect more than $13,000 in insurance money by claiming that his car was stolen when, in fact, the vehicle was found a day earlier in Philadelphia.
According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Alberto Morales, 41, of Union City, Hudson County, was charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with attempted theft by deception and tampering with public records or information (3rd degree) and falsifying records (4th degree).
If convicted on all charges, Morales faces up to 11 1/2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $40,000. In addition, Morales faces possible civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The defendant will be ordered to appear in Hudson County Superior Court for arraignment and bail on a date to be determined.
The indictment alleges that on Jan. 26, 2002, Morales reported to the Union City Police Department that his 1997 Honda Acura had been stolen sometime after 1:45 a.m. on that date. Subsequently, Morales submitted a fraudulent automobile insurance theft claim in the amount of $13,854 to the Clarendon National Insurance Company.
An Investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a car fire involving Morales’ 1997 Acura on the late afternoon of Jan. 25 – a day before Morales reported it stolen to the insurance company.
Clarendon Insurance Company denied Morales’ insurance claim and reported the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for further investigation.
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