N.J. Indicts Pa. Man for Alleged Role in ‘Give Up’ Auto Fraud

November 9, 2006

A Pennsylvania man has been indicted for his alleged role in an auto theft and insurance fraud ring in New jersey, accrding to state officials.

New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that Artur Lapinski, 27, of Bethlehem, Pa., was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on Oct. 25 on second-degree charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, conspiracy, receiving stolen property, and fencing, as well as third-degree charges of conspiracy, receiving stolen property and fencing. The indictment was handed up on Nov. 1 to Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa in Middlesex County.

To date, the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor says it has identified roughly $803,000 worth of stolen automobiles as a result of the wide-ranging investigation in which Lapinski was indicted.

The indictment alleges that between Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, 2004, Lapinski knowingly sold a stolen 2005 BMW M3 to an undercover investigator for $5,500. The car had allegedly been stolen from the Inskip Auto Center in Warwick, Rhode Island.

The indictment also alleges that between March 28 and April 22, 2005, Lapinski conspired to commit insurance fraud. It is alleged that Lapinski agreed with another person to sell an Infiniti QX4 so that the owner of the Infiniti QX4 could falsely report it as stolen to the insurance company. The QX4 was allegedly falsely reported as stolen to the Linden Police Department by Grzegorz Miekina, 30, of Linden. Miekina pleaded guilty before Judge Scott J. Moynihan in Union County on Oct. 12 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec.1.

The indictment further alleges that between Nov. 8 and Nov.10, 2004, Lapinski conspired with other persons to possess and sell two stolen 2005 Hummer H2 motor vehicles for $6,000 each. It is alleged that the motor vehicles belonged to James Hummer, an automobile dealership in Flemington.

New jersey officials said this indictment is part of a wide-ranging investigation into automobile thefts from dealerships and automobile “give ups.” A give up occurs when the owner of an automobile voluntarily gives his car to another in order to submit a phony auto theft insurance claim. The car is typically chopped for parts or retagged with a new vehicle identification number and sold.

“This investigation has identified a conspiracy to steal cars and facilitate owner give ups on a large scale,” Prosecutor Brown said. “The property loss and phony insurance claims uncovered in this wide-ranging investigation may exceed $1 million. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.”

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Source: N.J. Attorney General
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

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