|TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Newark police officer has been charged with falsely reporting to police that his vehicle was stolen and fraudulently collecting $10,791 from the company that insured the vehicle.
Suliaman Kamara, 30, of Newark, an officer with the Newark Police Department, was charged by complaint-summons with third-degree theft by deception and tampering with public records or information, also a third-degree offense. He surrendered to detectives from the State Police Official Corruption Bureau today for processing on the charges.
Kamara allegedly filed a report with the Newark Police Department on Feb. 23, 2009, stating that his 2003 GMC Yukon had been stolen, when, in fact, he knew that it had not been stolen. It is alleged that he filed a fraudulent claim related to the purported theft with his insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, which paid him a total of $10,791, including $9,744 for the vehicle, $477 for property he reported stolen inside the vehicle, and $570 for a rental car. Nearly three years later, a representative of Liberty Mutual spotted the vehicle outside Kamara’s residence and alerted authorities. The State Police located the 2003 GMC Yukon, bearing a license plate from another vehicle, parked outside of Kamara’s residence on March 14, 2012, and executed a search warrant, confirming that it was the vehicle that Kamara had reported stolen.
Kamara was a Newark Police Officer at the time of the alleged criminal conduct. He was initially hired by the police force in July 2008, but was laid off in November 2010. He was subsequently rehired in March 2012. The Newark Police Department suspended Kamara after the complaint was filed against him yesterday.
Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000. The complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment. Kamara was released on his own recognizance after being processed on the charges.
Sgt. Lisa King led the investigation for the State Police Official Corruption North Unit. The case is being handled for the Division of Criminal Justice by Deputy Attorney General Michael Monahan, Deputy Chief of the Corruption Bureau.