Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal
Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced
that an Irvington man has been charged in
a state grand jury indictment for his role
in an automobile "give up" scam.
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza
Dagli, Christopher George, 36, whose last
known address was in Irvington, was charged
yesterday (April 22) with second-degree
insurance fraud, third-degree theft by deception,
third-degree tampering with public documents,
third-degree hindering apprehension of self,
and fourth-degree falsifying records.
indictment alleges that on Jan. 27, 2008,
George filed a false police report with
the Irvington Police Department alleging
that he last saw his 2006 Pontiac G6 on
Jan. 26, 2008, when, in fact, the car had
been found burning in Brooklyn, NY on Jan.
25, 2008. It is alleged that George subsequently
filed a claim with High Point Insurance
Company for the purportedly stolen vehicle
and, as a result of the alleged fraud, received
$12,550 from High Point Insurance Company
to which he was not entitled.
allegedly made a tape recorded interview
and signed a false affidavit of theft with
the High Point Insurance Company, knowing
that the vehicle had not been stolen. It
is alleged that, on April 4, 2008, George
made a false statement in an examination
under oath conducted by High Point Insurance
Company’s law firm.
indictment further alleges that on Sept.
29, 2008, George made false statements regarding
the purported theft of the vehicle to detectives
from the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
Frank Cignarella, and Deputy Attorney General
John J. Higgins were assigned to the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Higgins presented
the case to the state grand jury. Acting
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli thanked
the Irvington Police Department and the
High Point Insurance Company for their assistance
in this investigation.
indictment is merely an accusation. The
defendant is presumed to be innocent unless
and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum
sentence of 10 years in state prison and
a criminal fine of up to $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 18 months in state prison
and a criminal fine of up to $10,000.
Fraud Prosecutor Dagli noted that some important
cases have started with anonymous tips.
People who are concerned about insurance
cheating and have information about a fraud
can report it anonymously by calling the
toll-free hotline 1-877-55-FRAUD
or visiting the Web site www.njinsurancefraud.org.
State regulations permit an award to be
paid to an eligible person who provides
information that leads to an arrest, prosecution
and conviction for insurance fraud.
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was
established by the Automobile Insurance
Cost Reduction Act of 1998. The office is
the centralized state agency that investigates
and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance
fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud.