- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J.
Taylor announced that a Cumberland County
man has been indicted for allegedly conspiring
to commit arson and insurance fraud by setting
fire to his aunt’s automobile.
According to Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Kristopher
Wynder, 20, of Vineland, was charged yesterday
(May 12) with second-degree conspiracy,
second-degree aggravated arson, third-degree
arson, third-degree insurance fraud and
third-degree attempted theft by deception.
The Cumberland County grand
jury indictment alleges that between July
28 and Aug. 4, 2008, Wynder conspired with
his aunt, Cheryl Wynder, to obtain her 2002
Ford Explorer, take it to a remote location
in Vineland, and set fire to the vehicle
with the purpose of collecting insurance
proceeds for the vehicle. It is alleged
that Wynder carried out the conspiracy by
taking the Explorer to “The Blue Hole”
adjacent to Oak Road in Vineland, setting
fire to the Explorer and recklessly placing
other persons, including fire personnel
from the Vineland Fire Department, in danger.
The indictment also alleges
that Wynder was an accomplice to his aunt
submitting a fraudulent vehicle theft insurance
claim and attempting to collect claims money
by reinforcing the false impression that
the Explorer had been stolen, knowing that
it had not.
Cheryl Wynder pleaded guilty
in May 2009 to insurance fraud and was subsequently
sentenced to five years probation, and ordered
to pay $8,531 in restitution and a $5,000
civil insurance fraud fine.
Detective Terrence Buie,
Civil Investigator Robert Overton and Deputy
Attorney General Paul D. Santangini were
assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney
General Santangini presented the case to
the Cumberland County Grand Jury. Acting
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli thanked
the Vineland Police Department and the New
Jersey State Police, Bridgeton Barracks,
for their assistance in this investigation.
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 5 years in State prison and
a criminal fine of $15,000.