- Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
that a former Freehold dentist has been
sentenced to state prison for stealing more
than $530,000 in disability and Social Security
benefits over a 13-year period.
to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden
Brown, Michael F. Monica, 65, of Freehold,
was ordered by Superior Court Judge Frederick
P. DeVesa in Middlesex County to serve three
years in state prison and pay restitution.
The Oct. 17 sentence was pursuant to Monica’s
guilty plea to a criminal accusation which
charged him with theft by deception.
At the June 13 guilty plea hearing, Monica,
formerly a licensed dentist in the State
of New Jersey, admitted that between Jan.
2, 1992, and Nov. 29, 2005, he fraudulently
obtained disability insurance claims money
from several insurance companies and from
the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Monica admitted that he falsely advised
the insurance companies and the Social Security
Administration that he was disabled and
not able to practice dentistry when, in
fact, he continued to operate a dental practice
during the entire 13-year period in Freehold.
admitted that he submitted false statements
about his disability to the Cigna Insurance
Company, the Lincoln Financial Group, formerly
known as Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance
Company, as well as to the Social Security
Administration, and during that period of
time, he collected approximately $530,074
in disability benefits to which he was not
entitled. Specifically, Monica wrongfully
collected $144,000 from Cigna, $81,500 from
Lincoln Financial, and $304,574 from the
Social Security Administration.
As part of the investigation, on Nov. 29,
2005, state investigators with the Office
of Insurance Fraud prosecutor executed a
search warrant and seized assets of Monica’s
pursuant to the state’s asset forfeiture
statute. The assets included $97,875 in
cash, three gold bars, 12 gold coins, and
three parcels of real estate, including
two condominium units in Atlantic City and
a single family home in Howell. The proceeds
from the asset forfeiture action will be
applied to pay restitution to the insurance
companies and civil fraud fines, with the
balance being forfeited to the state.
Charles Wells and Michael English, Civil
Investigator Danene Derrickson, and Deputy
Attorneys General Carol Stanton Meier and
Joan M. Burke were assigned to the investigation.
Burke represented the Office of Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing.
too often this office receives allegations
that persons who claim to be disabled are
actually working and collecting disability
insurance,” said Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
Greta Gooden Brown. “This guilty plea
demonstrates our resolve to prosecute persons
who commit disability insurance fraud.”
case was referred to OIFP by the Special
Investigative Units of Cigna Insurance Company
and Lincoln Financial Group, which initially
uncovered the fraud and assisted OIFP in
the investigation. Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
Brown thanked the insurance companies for
their assistance in this matter.
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor assists
the Social Security Disability Investigation
Unit, led by Special Agent Daniel Guevera,
in detecting and investigating Social Security
and private insurance disability frauds.
The Social Security Disability Investigation
Unit assisted with this investigation.
The Enforcement Bureau of New Jersey’s
Professional Licensing Boards and the Office
of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor routinely
coordinate with respect to investigations
of professional licensees, and the Enforcement
Bureau greatly assists OIFP with respect
to such investigations.