TRENTON - Attorney General
Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director
Stephen J. Taylor announced that an Ocean
County woman has been indicted for allegedly
submitting a phony “slip and fall”
According to Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi, Michelle
Trapp, 40, of Mystic Island, was charged
yesterday with third-degree insurance fraud
and fourth-degree falsifying records.
The Ocean County grand jury
indictment alleges that on Nov. 4, 2009,
Trapp falsely represented to Target Corporation
that she had fallen in the parking lot of
the Target store located in Stafford Township,
Ocean County, and had sustained an injury.
The indictment also alleges that Trapp signed
a Guest Incident Report, dated Nov. 4, 2009,
knowing that it contained false statements
or information in order to deceive Target.
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor revealed that the Stafford
Township Target store had surveillance cameras
in the parking lot which recorded Trapp
parking her car and walking into Target,
allegedly without incident.
Detective Natalie L. Brotherston
and Deputy Attorney General Geraldine D.
Zidow were assigned to the investigation.
Zidow presented the case to the Ocean County
grand jury. Acting Prosecutor Chillemi thanked
Sedgwick Claims Management Services for
its assistance in the investigation.
The indictment is merely
an accusation and the defendant is presumed
innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree
crimes carry a maximum sentence of five
years in state prison and a criminal fine
of $15,000, while crimes of the fourth degree
carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in
state prison and a criminal fine of $10,000.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi 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 at
1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the
Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org.
State regulations permit a reward to be
paid to an eligible person who provides
information that leads to an arrest, prosecution
and conviction for insurance fraud.