Public Adjusting Firm, Owner Admit Insurance Fraud in New Jersey

September 25, 2013

State authorities in New Jersey say a Monmouth County-based public adjusting company has admitted submitting fraudulent insurance claims in an attempt to defraud a New Jersey-based insurer out of more than $15,000.

Long Branch-based Northeast Claims Group recently pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud. The firm also agreed to be dissolved and have its state public adjuster license revoked.

A public adjuster is an intermediary between an insured and their insurance company. The adjuster is hired by an insured after they suffer losses.

The company was also fined $7,500 criminal fine and its owner, 40-year-old Joseph Shammah of West Long Branch agreed to have his public adjuster’s license revoked. Shammah was allowed to enter a pretrial program, meaning the charge would be dismissed if he successfully completes the program.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said Shammah was charged following of an undercover sting in 2012.

In entering the plea, he admitted making false statements last year between April 1 and Aug. 3 regarding damage claims in order to improperly obtain approximately $15,452 from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company.

The state’s Banking and Insurance Department signed a consent order revoking the adjuster licenses for Shammah and Northeast Claims Group. It also levied $8,000 in civil penalties and surcharges.

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