New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Union County man has pleaded guilty to theft for receiving stolen automobiles worth more than $170,000, and “re-tagging” them.
According to McKoy and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Mariusz Mroczka, 25, of Linden, Union County, pleaded guilty on Jan. 19 before Union County Superior Court Judge John Triarsi to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Mroczka with receiving stolen property (2nd degree). When sentenced on April 15, Mroczka faces up to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.
At the guilty plea, Mroczka reportedly admitted that between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, 2003, he took possession of four cars with a combined value of $170,000 – a 2001 Lexus IS 300, a 2001 Lexus GS 430, a 2003 Lexus SC 430, and a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta. Mroczka took possession of the stolen cars both for his personal use and so that they could be “re-tagged” and re-sold. Re-tagging a vehicle means that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is removed from the car and a different VIN is placed on the car so that it can be hidden from law enforcement and appear to be not stolen.
While executing a search warrant on Mrockza’s property, state investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor found the stolen cars. In addition, investigators reportedly found various parts from other automobiles, mechanic’s tools, and other evidence consistent with vehicle re-tagging.
An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, following the thefts, the owners of the cars submitted automobile insurance theft claims to several insurance companies, including New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, AIG Insurance Company, Allstate Insurance Company, and the Peerless Insurance Company.
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