New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a former employee of a defunct Collingswood chiropractic clinic has been sentenced to state prison for his reported role in using stolen police reports to illegally solicit patients in order to bolster the filing of automobile accident Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and bodily injury insurance claims.
“This prosecution, which targeted corrupt police officers and an individual employed in a medical care facility, represents a victory in our efforts to battle insurance fraud and public corruption,” said Harvey. “Insurance fraud is but one of the reasons New Jersey’s auto insurance rates are among the highest in the nation. Fraudulent schemes such as the one employed by these individuals is nothing less than corruption and organized crime. The Division of Criminal Justice and the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is taking direct aim at such corrupt schemes and will investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone involved in insurance fraud.”
Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, said that Charles Warrington, II, 30, Cherry Hill, was sentenced on Nov. 1 by Camden County Superior Court Judge John McNeill, III to three years in state prison. Warrington had pleaded guilty to insurance fraud-related charges.
According to Gooden-Brown, Warrington was charged via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Aug. 5, 2002 with conspiracy, bribery, aiding and abetting official misconduct, and criminal use of runners.
In pleading guilty before Judge McNeill on March 29, Warrington reportedly admitted that he and a retired Sgt. in the Camden City Police Department acted as “runners” in order to solicit or to attempt to solicit patients for treatment at a defunct Collingswood chiropractic clinic. A “runner” is a person paid by a licensed medical service provider to procure patients for the medical practice in order to bolster the submission of insurance claims and to enhance financial profits.
Gooden-Brown noted that a series of State Grand Jury indictments returned in 2002 and 2003 charged an active duty and several retired Camden City police officers with operating an insurance fraud scheme which provided official police accident reports and other documents to the operators of American Spinal Care, Inc. – a former health care chiropractic facility located in Collingswood.
The insurance fraud indictments charged then-Camden Police Lt. Jerome F. Bollettieri, 42, Oakyn, retired Camden City Police Department Sgt. Thomas G. DiPatri, 55, Egg Harbor Twp., and retired Camden City Police Department Sgt. Philip N. Ferrari, 65, Cherry Hill. Bollettieri and DiPatri were charged with criminal conspiracy, bribery, official misconduct, and criminal use of runners.
Following a six day jury trial, DiPatri was convicted on Aug. 7, 2003 of conspiracy, bribery, official misconduct, and criminal use of runners. On Oct. 3, 2003, Judge McNeill sentenced DiPatri to three years in state prison. Bollettieri’s case is pending trial in Camden County Superior Court. Ferrari, charged as a runner in the illegal insurance fraud scam, died prior to his case going to trial.
According to the indictments, Bollettieri, as the officer-in-charge of the Camden City Police Department’s Traffic Division, provided DiPatri with Camden City Police Department automobile accident reports in return for bribe money.
The investigation determined that the stolen police reports would go to Warrington and Ferrari who would use the reports to solicit patients for treatment at American Spinal Care chiropractic clinic.
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