|TRENTON – Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi announced that an Essex County man was sentenced to state prison today for possessing a fraudulent motor vehicle insurance identification card.
George Hawkins, 48, of Newark was sentenced to 18 months in state prison by Superior Court Judge Martin G. Cronin in Essex County. Hawkins’ sentence was based on his Sept. 28, 2012 guilty plea to a charge of displaying a simulated motor vehicle insurance card to a law enforcement officer, a fourth degree crime. Hawkins was indicted in April 2010 following an investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor into counterfeit motor vehicle insurance cards in Newark.
In pleading guilty, Hawkins admitted that on April 27, 2007, he knowingly possessed and displayed a fraudulent motor vehicle insurance card to a law enforcement officer.
Deputy Attorney General Cheryl Maccaroni and Detectives Darryl Washington and Kelly Howard were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Tom Tresansky represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing.
This case was referred to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by the Special Investigative Unit of the State Farm Insurance Company, which initially uncovered the fraud and assisted OIFP in the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked State Farm for its assistance in this matter.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi noted that 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.