N.J. Office Charges Philadelphia Man With Participation in Auto Scheme

October 13, 2004

Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice, announced that New Jersey’s Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged a Philadelphia man with conspiracy and theft as part of a $23,000 automobile insurance fraud “give up” scheme. An arrest warrant was issued for the defendant.

According to McKoy and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Joseph Gavin, a/k/a Joseph Abadie, 31, of Philadelphia, was charged in a Cape May County Grand Jury indictment with conspiracy and theft by deception (3rd degree). If convicted of both counts, Gavin faces up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $30,000. Additionally, Gavin faces a possible civil insurance fraud fine pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

Gooden-Brown noted the indictment alleges that Gavin conspired with Paulo Dasilva-Cristelo, 29, of Erma, Cape May County (N.J.), to submit a phony automobile theft insurance claim to the Camden Fire Insurance Association. The Insurance Association subsequently paid Dasilva-Cristelo $23,407 on the claim.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that on Aug. 9 – 10, 2001, Dasilva-Cristelo reportedly “gave up” his 1999 Chevrolet pick-up truck to Gavin so that Dasilva-Cristelo could falsely report that the vehicle had been stolen. Dasilva-Cristelo reported the purported theft to the Wildwood Crest Police Department located in Cape May County. In fact, the truck was recovered by the FBI and the Philadelphia Police prior to Aug. 9.

On May 25, Dasilva-Cristelo was admitted into the Pre-trial Intervention (PTI) Program conditioned on paying $23,407 in restitution to the Camden Fire Insurance Association, a civil penalty totaling $3,500, and to perform 100 hours of community service.

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