- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal
Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced
that a Mercer County man has been indicted
for allegedly collecting more than $39,000
by submitting fraudulent disability insurance
According to Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Emeka Iheukwumere,
53, of Ewing, Mercer County, was charged
Friday (March 12) with second-degree insurance
fraud, third-degree theft by deception and
fourth-degree falsifying records.
The Mercer County grand jury indictment
alleges that between July 7, 2003, and March
30, 2005, Iheukwumere submitted fraudulent
accidental disability claim forms and continuing
disability claim forms. The indictment charges
that Iheukwumere allegedly submitted claims
containing fraudulent employee statements
and attending physician statements to American
Family Life Insurance Company (AFLAC) in
connection with claims for disability payments.
Iheukwumere allegedly claimed he was employed
by the Council for Airport Opportunities,
even though he was not employed by that
entity and therefore was not entitled to
disability benefits. The indictment also
alleges that, as a result of his fraudulent
actions, Iheukwumere obtained 12 insurance
disability claim checks totaling $39,337.50
from AFLAC to which he was not entitled.
Detective Anthony Butler, Civil Investigator
Wilbert Sowney and Deputy Attorney General
Joan M. Burke were assigned to the investigation.
DAG Burke presented the case to the Mercer
County grand jury. This case was referred
to OIFP by the Special Investigative Unit
of AFLAC which initially uncovered the fraud
and assisted OIFP in the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli
thanked AFLAC for its assistance in this
The indictment is merely
an accusation and the defendant is presumed
innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000,
while third-degree crimes carry a maximum
sentence of five years in state prison and
a criminal fine of $15,000. Fourth-degree
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months
in state prison and a criminal fine of $10,000.
In addition, Iheukwumere may face the imposition
of civil insurance fraud fines.