N.J. Man’s Phony Auto Claim Parks Him with Potential 5 Years in State Pen

March 16, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that an Essex County man has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud for submitting a phony automobile theft claim to his insurance company.

According to Director McKoy and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, O’Neil J. Williams, 25, of South Orange, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Donald Volkert to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Williams with insurance fraud (3rd degree). When sentenced on April 26, Williams faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of $15,000.

At the March 14 guilty plea hearing, Williams reportedly admitted that on Sept. 12, 2003, he falsely reported his 2002 Honda Civic stolen to South Orange Police Department in order to submit an insurance property damage claim.

An investigation by AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group determined that the car had not been stolen and referred the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for further review.

Williams reportedly conceded that he concocted the stolen car story to avoid admitting that the car had been damaged in an accident on the way home from a bar in Newark.

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