An Atlantic County man previously convicted of insurance fraud has been named in a new state grand jury indictment charging him with arson, according to New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that
Officials said that Samuel Siligato of Hammonton, was indicted on charges of second-degree aggravated arson, second-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function.
The new indictment alleges that on April 8, 2005, Siligato set fire to an abandoned house in Winslow Township owned by Pastore Farms Inc. It is alleged that he set the fire as he awaited trial in connection with a 1998 arson at a commercial property he owned at 801 South Whitehorse Pike. He allegedly sought to create the impression that the fire at his building was started by an unknown person or persons who remained at large setting fires in the area.
In July 2006, Siligato was found guilty of attempted theft by deception, conspiracy and witness tampering following an 11-week jury trial on charges related to the 1998 fire at his property and related claims he filed with First Trenton Insurance Co. In September, Siligato was sentenced to 11 years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Albert Garofolo in Atlantic County.
Siligato currently is free on bail while he appeals that conviction. He was incarcerated in state prison until Feb. 2, when Judge Garofolo, under direction of the Appellate Division, held a bail hearing for him. Bail was set at $350,000, which Siligato posted.
State Investigator Robert Stemmer and Civil Investigator Kenneth Frazee coordinated the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Louis J. Korngut represented the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor before the state grand jury.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Neil H. Shuster in Mercer County.
The indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000. Siligato also may face civil insurance fraud fines.
Source: N.J. Attorney General
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