- Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced
that an Essex County resident was sentenced
today for falsely reporting his car stolen
and subsequently collecting more than $9,000
in insurance proceeds.
Thelusma, 30, of Orange, has been sentenced
to five years of probation by Superior Court
Judge Michael A. Petrolle in Essex County.
Thelusma was also ordered to pay $9,625
in restitution to GEICO Indemnity Company
and to serve 200 hours of community service.
Thelusma agreed to pay a $5,000 civil fine.
The sentence was based on Thelusma’s
March 12 guilty plea to third-degree theft
by deception. The charge was contained in
an Essex County grand jury indictment returned
on December 17, 2010.
pleading guilty, Thelusma admitted that
on Dec. 5, 2006 he reported to the Irvington
Police Dept. and to his auto insurance carrier,
GEICO, that his 2002 BMW 325 had been stolen,
when, in fact, he had hidden the car in
a private garage. A number of months after
the insurance claim had been paid, police
learned that the car was parked in the garage
and the vehicle was discovered.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi
noted that 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.
Attorney General Geraldine D. Zidow and
Detectives Wendy Berg and Cortney Lawrence
were assigned to the investigation. Zidow
represented the state at the sentencing.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi
thanked GEICO Indemnity Company and the
Irvington Police Department for their assistance
in the investigation.