New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Middlesex County man has been charged by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor with theft and tampering with public records after filing a false report with police and an insurance company claiming that his late model truck had been stolen.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Larnardo R. Pittman, a/k/a Larry Pittman, 38, of South Plainfield, Middlesex County, was charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with theft by deception and tampering with public records or information (3rd degree) and false swearing (4th degree). A third degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. A fourth degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, Pittman faces a possible civil insurance fraud fine pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.
Gooden Brown said the indictment alleges that Pittman reported to the Newark Police Department that his 2000 Ford F-350 pick-up truck had been stolen on June 9, 2002. The indictment charges that Pittman subsequently reported the purported theft to The Zurich North American Insurance Company, the owner of Empire Insurance Company. Empire processed the claim and paid approximately $29,000 to Pittman.
The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s investigation determined that Pittman’s reports that truck had been stolen on June 9, 2002 in Newark were false.
The indictment was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Maria Sypek on April 29. The case will be assigned to the Somerset County Superior Court for trial. A complaint summons will be issued which will require Pittman to appear for arraignment and bail.
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