- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J.
Taylor announced that a Cumberland County
man has pleaded guilty to filing a false
vehicle theft claim.
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald
Chillemi, Casey M. Wendling, 28, of Millville,
pleaded guilty Friday (June 3) before Superior
Court Judge Benjamin Telsey in Cumberland
County to an accusation which charged him
with third-degree insurance fraud.
Telsey scheduled sentencing for Aug. 5.
Under the plea agreement, the state will
recommend that Wendling be sentenced to
probation. Wendling will be ordered to pay
$52,978 in restitution.
pleading guilty, Wendling admitted that
between Sept. 11, 2008, and August 2, 2010,
he submitted a fraudulent vehicle theft
claim to the Lincoln General Insurance Company
claiming that his 2007 Peterbilt tractor
had been stolen, when, in fact, he knew
it had not been stolen.
investigation by the Office of the Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor revealed that the New Jersey
State Police had located the tractor, which
was still in Wendling’s possession,
but had been repainted. The State Police
also discovered that attempts had been made
to conceal the tractor’s true Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) by re-plating
the vehicle with a VIN plate from a 1993
Peterbilt tractor and obscuring two digits
on the engine’s serial number in order
to make them unidentifiable.
Hector Montano and Deputy Attorneys General
Paul D. Santangini and Joan Burke were assigned
to the investigation. Burke represented
the state at the guilty plea hearing. Acting
Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the New Jersey
State Police and Lincoln General Insurance
Company for their assistance in the investigation.