N.J. Man Sentenced for Stealing Dead Man’s Workers’ Comp Insurance Checks

September 19, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Cumberland County man has been sentenced to state prison for stealing a dead acquaintance’s disability insurance checks – monies the claimant was not entitled to receive.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Bruce Baez, 30, of Millville, Cumberland County, was sentenced by Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Timothy Farrell to four years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution and court fees. Baez was charged with theft by deception via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Sept. 13, 2004.

At the April 4 guilty plea hearing before Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Richard Geiger, Baez reportedly admitted that between Dec. 19, 2000 and Aug. 4, 2001, to stealing at least six disability checks totaling $1,300. The checks were issued by New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company to Juan “Marcial” Perez who died on March 15, 2000. Perez had been receiving the disability checks pursuant to a workers’ compensation insurance policy issued by the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company.

New Jersey Manufacturers, unaware of Juan “Marcial” Perez’s death, continued to send checks to Perez’s Millville residence. An investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor reportedly determined that Baez obtained the checks, forged the beneficiary’s signature and then cashed the checks.

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