A New York man has pleaded guilty for his leadership role in an auto theft and insurance fraud ring in New Jersey, according to New Jersey officials.
New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that Artur Czubek, 28, of Staten Island, N.Y., pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan in Union County to criminal charges of leading an auto theft trafficking network, a second-degree offense. The ring had a base of operations in Linden, where stolen cars were sold.
At the guilty plea hearing, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown said that Czubek admitted that between Nov. 22, 2004 and Oct. 22, 2005, he was involved in a conspiracy to steal cars and accept owner initiated “give up” vehicles so that more than a dozen fraudulent insurance claims could be submitted. A “give up” occurs when the owner of a car voluntarily gives it to another so that a false theft claim can be submitted and the car can be chopped for parts or retagged with a new vehicle identification number and sold.
Brown said Czubek was involved with 13 car thefts or give-ups and the resale of those cars. Nine of the cars were stolen, including some from automobile dealerships. They were sold to undercover investigators for a total of $26,000, but had an actual combined value of more then $562,000. The remaining four cars were owner give-ups. The undercover investigation determined that Czubek received $4,300 for those vehicles, which were valued at a total of $133,000.
Crimes of the second degree carry a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. Czubek may also face civil insurance fraud fines.
“This guilty plea is part of an ongoing multi-state investigation into the activities of a gang of car thieves,” said Brown. “We are coordinating our efforts in New Jersey with those of law enforcement agencies in New York and Pennsylvania for maximum results.”
Source: N.J. The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
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