Former N.J. Employee Charged in Military Service Scam

June 14, 2004

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged a Union County woman with concocting a scheme that she had been called to active military service in order to continue collecting more than $12,000 in paychecks from her former employer.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Rashonda Clark, 30, of Plainfield, Union County, was charged via a Union County Grand Jury indictment with theft by deception (3rd degree) and two counts of forgery (4th degree). If convicted of all charges, Clark faces up to eight years in state prison and a fine of up to $35,000. Clark is scheduled to appear before Union County Superior Court Judge John Malone on June 28 for arraignment.

Gooden Brown said the indictment alleges that Clark, formerly employed as a customer service representative by the Palisades Safety and Insurance Management Corporation located in Berkeley Heights, told her employer that she had been called to active military duty by the United States Army.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Clark submitted forged documents to support her claim, including a copy of U.S. Army active duty military orders in which she (Clark) was to report to Fort Dix, NJ en route to Fort Leonard Wood, MI, for a period of 12 months in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

While the investigation confirmed that Clark was a member of a New Jersey National Guard Reserve Component Unit, it was determined that Clark had not been called to active duty but had actually become employed at the American International Group (AIG) Insurance Company.

During the eight-month period (March 24 through Nov. 28, 2003) in which it is alleged Clark perpetrated the fraud, the Palisades Corp. paid Clark her $12,678 salary.

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