N.J. Officials Charge Newark Woman with Using Stolen Identity to Commit Insurance Fraud

September 16, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Newark woman has been charged by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor with Health Care Claims Fraud, theft, and identity theft as a result of allegations that she used another person’s identity to receive medical treatment.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Olivette Henderson, 34, of Newark, Essex County, was charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with Health Care Claims Fraud (2nd degree), theft by deception, and identity theft (3rd degree). A second degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while crimes of the third degree carry a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Additionally, Henderson faces possible civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

Brown noted that the State Grand Jury indictment charges that from Dec. 11, 2000 through March 12, 2001, Henderson used the insurance identification information of a person identified as “QR” to obtain medical services.

The indictment alleges that the medical services obtained by Henderson included foot surgery and related medical bills totaling $44,745. The bills were submitted to the CIGNA Property and Casualty Insurance Company and CIGNA paid approximately $7,550. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.

The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s investigation was initiated when it received an anonymous “Hot Line” call alleging Henderson was misusing another person’s insurance identification card to receive medical treatment.

“Investigative experience teaches that very frequently, identity theft leads to fraudulent insurance claims,” said Brown. “In this case, a person’s insurance identification card was stolen and used to obtained almost $50,000 worth of medical care. Identity theft is a common problem with respect to persons submitting false insurance claims.”

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