N.J. Man Shows No Class; Guilty Plea Offered in Workers’ Comp Scam

October 27, 2004

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Gloucester County man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $38,000 in workers’ compensation benefits by falsely claiming to be enrolled at a community college.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Michael S. Sorbello, 23, of Mantua, Gloucester County, pleaded guilty before Gloucester County Superior Court Judge John Tomasello to a criminal Accusation which charged theft by deception (3rd degree). When sentenced on Dec. 2, Sorbello faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Sorbello also faces a potential $2,500 civil insurance fraud fine pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

In pleading guilty on Oct. 22, Sorbello reportedly admitted that between January, 2002 and March, 2003, that he fraudulently obtained more than $38,300 in workers’ comp benefits from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company.

Sorbello admitted that he falsely represented to New Jersey Manufacturers that he was enrolled as a full-time student at Gloucester County Community College and, under an insurance policy obtained by his deceased father, he was entitled to collect $568.00 per week in workers’ comp insurance benefits.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor revealed that Sorbello was not enrolled as a full time student at Gloucester County Community College.

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