State authorities say a northern New Jersey man fabricated a story about being carjacked so he could get about $38,500 from his insurer.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced Wednesday that 42-year-old Maurice Douglas, of East Orange, is charged with insurance fraud, attempted theft by deception and false reports to law enforcement. The charges were in an indictment handed up Monday by a state grand jury.
Douglas reported the alleged carjacking to East Orange police in March, saying two men stole his 2007 Mercedes S-550 as he exited the vehicle at his house. He further alleged one man pointed an assault rifle at him, while the other stole his cell phone.
East Orange police found Douglas’ car the next day in an abandoned lot, its headlines and taillights stripped with evident damage to its body and windshield. Authorities say Douglas called his insurer that same day and filed a claim, saying he was carjacked.
Authorities say a police investigation uncovered time- and date-stamped surveillance video of the immediate route that Douglas said his assailants had taken to flee the area. But those videos don’t show either Douglas’ car or another vehicle that he claimed one of the carjackers was driving.
Douglas could face nearly 17 years in prison if he’s convicted on all counts. It was not known Wednesday if he has retained an attorney.
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