New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Union County man has been sentenced to State Prison for his role in a phony automobile accident scheme which attempted to obtain more than $90,000 in fraudulent insurance payments from New Jersey insurance companies.
According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Dannie Campbell, 53, of Elizabeth, Union County, was sentenced on April 1 by Essex County Superior Court Judge Joseph Isabella to three years in state prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
Gooden-Brown noted that Campbell, the mastermind and “runner” of a fake automobile accident ring operating in Essex County, pleaded guilty to a charge of Health Care Claims Fraud on Oct. 7, 2004. In pleading guilty, Campbell reportedly admitted that from July, 1997 through March, 1999, he created two fictitious automobile accidents which involved the filing of fraudulent accident reports and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims to police and insurance companies for non-existent injuries purportedly sustained in the phony accidents.
An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that a phony automobile accident planned by Campbell purportedly took place on July 24, 1997 in Hillside, Union County. The fraudulent accident involved four other individuals, each claiming to have sustained injuries requiring medical treatment. As a result of the phony accident, each submitted fraudulent PIP insurance claims totaling $47,700 to Keystone Insurance Company/AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company.
A second fraudulent accident purportedly took place on Sept. 16, 1998 in Newark wherein Campbell and another individual solicited other persons to act as passengers in the phony accident. As a result, four alleged victims submitted phony PIP insurance claims to Keystone Insurance Company/AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company after receiving treatment for injuries purportedly sustained in the phony accident. The fraudulent PIP insurance claims exceeded $42,950.
As a result of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s investigation, several related criminal indictments were obtained which charged the victims or passengers involved in the purported accidents. State Grand Jury indictments returned on March 19, 2003 charged George Holly, Jr. 27, Hillside, Union County; Shaheed Johnson, 26, Newark, Essex County; Nathaniel Jones, 28, Irvington, Essex County; Rashonda Harris, 24, Newark, Essex County; Robert Paul Mitchner, a/k/a “Shaboor”, 41, Newark, Essex County; Ramil Robinson, 23, Newark, Essex County; Chad Watson, 24, W. Orange, Essex County; Duane Smith, 39, Newark, Essex County; Monesha Gray, 32, Newark, Essex County; and Deborah Mathis, 40, Newark, Essex County, with conspiracy, Health Care Claims Fraud, and attempted theft by deception.
On Jan. 30, 2004, Nathaniel Jones pled guilty to Health Care Claims Fraud but failed to appear at a scheduled Aug. 2, 2004 sentencing. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest. On Feb. 27, 2004, Shaheed Johnson pled guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 civil insurance fraud fine. On Oct. 22, 2003, Mathis pled guilty to Health Care Claims Fraud and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 civil insurance fraud fine. On Jan. 26, 2004, Mitchner pled guilty to Health Care Claims Fraud and was sentenced to two years probation. The remaining defendants are pending trial or further court action.
The Keystone Insurance Company/AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company became suspicious of the claims, denied payment and referred the cases to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for criminal investigation.
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