N.J. Insurance Adjuster Receives 32-Month Prison Term for Defrauding NJTA

January 9, 2015

The owner of a New Jersey-based insurance adjusting company was sentenced on Thursday to 32 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the N.J. Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and various insurance companies of at least $900,000.

Robert Napolitano, 55, of Clifton, New Jersey, owner of Dawn to Dusk LLC, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with using the mail to facilitate a scheme to defraud the NJTA and insurance companies through false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty imposed the sentence in Newark, New Jersey, federal court, according to an announcement by Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In October 2011, Napolitano reached an agreement with Gerardo Blasi, 56, of Clifton, New Jersey, a claims manager for the NJTA. It was Blasi’s job to negotiate and recover the costs of repairs from insurance companies of motorists who caused damage to property belonging to the NJTA.

As part of the agreement, it was Napolitano’s responsibility to evaluate the damage caused by the insured motorist, create an estimate of the cost to repair the damage, and negotiate with the particular insurance company to arrive at the repair amount. Napolitano would request that the checks issued by the insurers for the repair costs be made payable to Dawn to Dusk LLC and mailed to Napolitano’s business.

Once Napolitano received these checks he would keep a portion of the proceeds for himself, provide Blasi with a share of the proceeds, and sometimes send the remaining amount to the NJTA as payment for the damages caused by the insured motorist. However, on several occasions, he and Blasi simply kept all of the proceeds.

As a result of this scheme, Napolitano and others defrauded the NJTA and various insurance companies of approximately $900,000.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Napolitano to serve three years of supervised release.

Blasi previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced last November to 45 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Source: The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey

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