Pa. Man Nailed in N.J. Scam

May 9, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Pennsylvania man has been ordered to perform community service and pay a criminal fine for issuing a fraudulent Certificate of Insurance.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Nicholas Barbella, 40, of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., was ordered by Essex County Superior Court Judge Martin Cronin to perform 75 hours of community service, pay a criminal fine of $5,000, and serve two years probation after pleading guilty to forgery (4th degree).

Barbella was charged via a Nov. 29, 2004 Essex County Grand Jury indictment filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

At the Feb. 14 guilty plea hearing before Judge Cronin, Barbella, a roofing contractor d/b/a Dr. Frank-n-Stein Inc., reportedly admitted that between Sept. 3, 2002 and Feb. 24, 2003, he issued a phony Certificate of Insurance to the management of Lawton Arms Apartments, Prospect Avenue, West Orange, Essex County. A Certificate of Insurance is used by contractors when bidding construction jobs and performing construction work to prove that they have the requisite insurance coverage to engage in the construction work.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that the Certificate of Insurance was purportedly issued by the Cumberland Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Bridgeton, Cumberland County, when the company issued no such certificate.

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