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For Immediate Release:
For Further Information:
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March 10, 2011

Office of The Attorney General
- Paula T. Dow, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Stephen J. Taylor, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Riza Dagli, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

Media Inquiries-
609-292-4791
Citizen Inquiries-
609-292-4925

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Middlesex County Auto Body Shop Owner Sentenced for Defrauding Insurance Companies

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TRENTON - Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Middlesex County auto body shop owner was sentenced today for defrauding numerous insurance companies out of a total of nearly $52,000.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Divyakant Patel, 47, of Iselin, was sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay $51,946 in restitution and to serve 100 hours of community service by Superior Court Judge Mathias E. Rodriguez in Middlesex County. The sentence was based on Patel’s Dec. 16 guilty plea to an accusation which charged him with third-degree theft by deception. New Jersey law provides that there is a presumption against any sentence of incarceration for a person convicted of a third-degree crime who has not previously been convicted of an indictable offense.

In pleading guilty, Patel, the owner of J&R Body Masters, located in Perth Amboy, admitted that between Nov.16, 2006 and May 20, 2010, he fraudulently obtained a total of $51,946 from various insurance companies. Patel created the false impression that invoices for various automobile parts submitted with bills for payment for repairs done by J&R Body Masters were invoices from the actual automobile parts vendors when, in fact, the invoices were fraudulently created documents. The insurance companies from which Patel stole the monies were: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, High Point Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, 21st Century Insurance, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, GEICO, Allstate Insurance, SIA Insurance, Mercury Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Palisades Insurance, Ameriprise/IDS Property and Casualty, Met Life and Hanover Insurance.

Detectives Jarek Pyrzanowski and Amy Carson, Civil Investigator Douglas Murray and Deputy Attorney General Nicole D. Rizzolo were assigned to the investigation. Rizzolo represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing hearing. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli thanked Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Highpoint Insurance Company and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for their assistance in the investigation. The investigation began when both Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission referred the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice.

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