N.J. Man Finds Workers’ Comp Fraud Doesn’t Pay

August 3, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Gloucester County man has pleaded guilty to theft and falsifying records for fraudulently collecting more than $11,000 in workers’ compensation benefits while employed.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Michael J. Scherb, 28, of Woodbury, Gloucester County, plead guilty before Gloucester County Superior Court Judge John Tomasello to a criminal Accusation which charged theft by deception and falsifying records. Scherb faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000 when sentenced on Sept. 9. Scherb may also face civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the civil Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

At the Aug. 1 guilty plea hearing, Scherb reportedly admitted that between April 18, 2003 and Jan. 27, 2004, to collecting more than $11,760 in workers’ comp insurance benefits to which he was not entitled. Scherb admitted that he fraudulently advised the Guard Insurance Group, which provided workers’ comp insurance, that he was injured and unable to work. In fact, Scherb was employed by a tree trimming service while collecting workers’ comp benefits .

The Guard Insurance Group became suspicious of the claim and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation.

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