Vaughn McKoy, Director, New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justice, announced that a Hudson County man has been ordered to perform community service and pay a $5,000 civil penalty for falsely reporting that his car had been stolen in order to collect the insurance money.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Michael L. Scarpa, Jr., 42, of Bayonne, was sentenced by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Elaine Davis on Nov. 7 to serve a one-year term of probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Scarpa was also ordered to pay a $5,000 civil insurance fraud fine pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.
Scarpa was charged on May 23 via a Hudson County Grand Jury indictment with attempted theft by deception, tampering with public records or information, and falsifying records.
At a Sept. 4 guilty plea hearing before Judge Davis, Scarpa reportedly admitted that on Dec. 22, 2001, he reported his 1992 Chevrolet Suburban stolen from the Hudson Mall in Jersey City. The stolen vehicle report was filed with the Jersey City Police Department.
The investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor reportedly determined that on Dec. 18, four days prior to Scarpa’s stolen vehicle report to the Jersey City Police Department, the 1992 Chevrolet Suburban had been ticketed in the Bronx, New York, as a derelict vehicle. On Dec. 19, Scarpa’s Suburban was removed and crushed by the NYC Sanitation Department. On Dec. 26, Scarpa submitted a stolen automobile claim with State Farm Insurance Company seeking payment of $11,103 for the stolen vehicle – the value of the insured car at the time of the claim. State Farm denied the claim and referred the case to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation.
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