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For Immediate Release:
For Further Information:
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August 2, 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
- Ronald Chillemi, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

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

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Hudson County Man Pleads Guilty to Identify Theft Scam
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TRENTON Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Hudson County man has pleaded guilty to an identity theft scam.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi, Remny Gomez, 24, of West New York, pleaded guilty yesterday (Aug. 1) to second-degree theft of identity before Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega in Superior Court. The charge was contained in a Union County grand jury indictment returned on Aug. 27, 2010.

Judge Mega scheduled sentencing for Jan 12, 2012. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Gomez be sentenced to three years in state prison. He will also be ordered to pay $4,126 in restitution.

In pleading guilty, Gomez admitted that between Feb. 16 and March 13, 2008, he fraudulently used other people’s personal identifying information to commit insurance fraud and to make credit card purchases without their authorization.

The investigation began after Gomez was arrested on Feb. 17, 2008 by the West New York Police Department while driving a stolen, “re-tagged” 2003 BMW 745. West New York Police Department’s investigation determined that Gomez was in possession of fraudulently obtained insurance identification. The West New York Police Department referred the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for further investigation.

While that investigation was pending, Gomez was arrested on March 13, 2008 while attempting to use a $100 gift card to purchase an $850 computer in a Walmart in Secaucus. A vigilant check out clerk noticed that the account numbers on the check out slip did not match the numbers on the gift card. Further investigation revealed that Gomez possessed a number of credit cards that had been "re encoded," meaning that the credit cards had been digitally altered.

Specifically, Gomez fraudulently possessed the following documents:

  • A Commerce Bank Visa Debit card and an All Access Gift credit card, both containing the personal identifying information of other persons without their authorization;
  • A Bank of America Visa card with re-encoded Carver Federal Savings Bank credit card information without the owner’s authorization;
  • Two PNC Visa Check Cards with re-encoded U.S. Bank National Association credit card Commerce Bank credit card information without the owners’ authorization; and
  • A Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard and a Citibank credit card that had been re-encoded without the owner’s authorization.

An investigation determined that Gomez used the fraudulent credit and debit cards to make at least $4,126 worth of purchases.

Detective Jarek Pyrzanowski and former Deputy Attorney General John J. Higgins were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kwasnik represented the state at the guilty plea hearing. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the Jersey City Police Department, the West New York Police Department, the Weehawken Police Department and the Secaucus Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

Acting 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.

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