|TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Bergen County public adjuster was sentenced today for defrauding clients and insurance companies, including a company that insured a church in Essex County, of more than $42,000 by billing for services that were never completed.
Sheena Clarke, 59, of Englewood, was sentenced to 18 months of probation by Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin in Essex County. Clarke was also ordered to surrender her Public Adjuster’s license. Clarke was ordered to pay $42,519 in restitution and to perform 300 hours of community service. Clarke also paid a $5,125 civil penalty to the Department of Banking and Insurance prior to sentencing. Clarke’s sentence was based on her Aug. 13 guilty plea to third-degree insurance fraud. The charge was contained in an Essex County grand jury indictment returned on Feb. 10.
In pleading guilty, Clarke admitted that between July 31, 2005 and Aug. 13, 2010, she submitted property damage claims to four insurance companies claiming that damage was sustained and repairs were completed at properties located in Paterson, Newark, Irvington, and East Orange, when, in fact, the repairs were not completed. The insurance companies to which the claims were submitted were the Philadelphia Contributorship Insurance Company, the Germantown Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and Western World Insurance Company.
Acting 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.
Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kwasnik and Detective Nicole Eiker were assigned to the case. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked Philadelphia Contributorship Insurance Company, the Germantown Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and Western World Insurance Company for their assistance in the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi also thanked Joy Champion of the National Insurance Crime Bureau for her assistance in the investigation.