Governor Christie nominated Ronald Chillemi to serve as New Jersey’s Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in May, 2011. Under New Jersey law, the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is charged with investigating all types of insurance fraud and coordinating the anti-fraud activities of state and local investigating agencies and prosecutors. The insurance Fraud Prosecutor also leads New Jersey’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which recovers large sums annually on behalf of the state through criminal and civil actions. In this position, Prosecutor Chillemi supervises a staff of 125 and manages an annual budget of $20 million.
Since his nomination, Prosecutor Chillemi has led an overhaul of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. OIFP now focuses on deterring fraud by prosecuting significant cases and targets. To develop such cases, OIFP has instituted a number of reforms, including recruiting aggressive white-collar attorneys, analysts and detectives, organizing staff into trial teams, and increasing the Office’s use of proactive techniques such as undercover operations and stings.
These reforms are working. The average prison sentence obtained by OIFP more than doubled from 2010 to 2012, from 1.25 to 2.97 years. For calendar year 2012, OIFP recovered a record $44.7 million for the Medicaid program through False Claims Act litigation. OIFP also reduced its costs by 10% through steps such as closing an unnecessary branch office and eliminating the assignment of cars for attorneys. In June of 2013, as part of its comprehensive program to deter insurance fraud, OIFP launched a statewide multi-media advertising campaign.
Prior to his nomination, Prosecutor Chillemi served for nearly nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey where he prosecuted a range of white-collar cases, including securities fraud, healthcare fraud, tax fraud, false claims, anti-kickback violations and money-laundering. In that position, he was awarded both the Justice Department’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance and was chosen as the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s “Prosecutor of the Year.” Prior to serving as an AUSA, Prosecutor Chillemi practiced with a large firm in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. Prosecutor Chillemi earned his law degree from Cornell Law School, a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife and son in Bergen County, New Jersey.