Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J.
Taylor announced that a Cumberland County
man was sentenced today for filing a false
vehicle theft claim.
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald
Chillemi, Casey M. Wendling, 28, of Millville,
was sentenced to five years of probation
by Superior Court Judge Benjamin Telsey
in Cumberland County. Wendling was also
ordered to pay $52,978 in restitution. 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. The sentence was
based on Wendling’s June 3 guilty
plea to an accusation charging him with
third-degree insurance fraud.
pleading guilty on June 3, Wendling admitted
that between Sept. 11, 2008, and Aug. 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 Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
at the sentencing. Acting Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the New Jersey
State Police and Lincoln General Insurance
Company for their assistance in the investigation.