Former N.J. Attorney/Pharmacist Pleads Guilty in Disability Insurance Scam

August 23, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that an former Essex County man has pleaded guilty to falsifying records in order to fraudulently collect more than $170,700 in disability insurance monies to which he was not entitled.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Richard S. Serbin, 61, of New York, N.Y., formerly of Short Hills, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, charging him with fourth degree falsifying records (4th degree).

When sentenced on Oct. 7, Serbin faces up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He will also be ordered to pay restitution in an amount decided by the Court. In addition, Serbin’s case will be referred to the Office of Attorney Ethics and the Board which licenses pharmacists for action as is appropriate.

At the guilty plea hearing, Serbin, who was licensed as both a pharmacist and an attorney, reportedly admitted that he falsified a disability claim representing that he was not employed. The terms of Serbin’s disability policy state that “total disability means complete inability of the insured to perform the substantial duties of any gainful occupation.”

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, at the time of the claim, Serbin was earning wages from HealthSTAR Communications Inc., located in Cranford, Union County.

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