- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J.
Taylor announced that a Cumberland County
man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to
set ablaze his aunt’s automobile so
that she could collect insurance proceeds.
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza
Dagli, Kristopher Wynder, 21, of Vineland,
pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy
to commit aggravated arson before Superior
Court Judge David E. Krell in Cumberland
County. Wynder was charged in a May 12,
2010 Cumberland County grand jury indictment.
Krell scheduled sentencing for April 15.
Under the plea agreement, the Office of
the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will recommend
that Wynder be sentenced to five years in
pleading guilty, Wynder admitted that between
July 28 and Aug. 4, 2008, he 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
so that Cheryl Wynder could collect insurance
proceeds for the vehicle. Kristopher Wynder
carried out the conspiracy by taking the
Explorer to a sand pit adjacent to Oak Road
in Vineland, setting fire to the Explorer,
thereby recklessly placing other persons,
including fire personnel from the Vineland
Fire Department, in danger.
pleading guilty, Wynder admitted that he
and Cheryl Wynder entered into a conspiracy
to dispose of her 2002 Ford Explorer and
submit a fraudulent insurance claim since
she was behind in her payments. As part
of the overall conspiracy, Wynder set the
vehicle on fire to destroy it, and to further
the false impression that the Explorer had
been stolen. For his part in the conspiracy,
Wynder admitted he was to be paid $500.
Wynder pleaded guilty in May 2009 to insurance
fraud and was subsequently sentenced to
five years probation, and was ordered to
pay $8,531 in restitution and a $5,000 civil
insurance fraud fine.
Terrence Buie and Deputy Attorney General
Paul D. Santangini were assigned to the
investigation. Deputy Attorney General Santangini
represented the Office of the Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli
thanked the Vineland Police Department and
the New Jersey State Police, Bridgeton Barracks,
for their assistance in this investigation.