- Acting Attorney General Anne Milgram and
Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory
A. Paw announced that an Atlantic County
man has been sentenced to state prison after
being convicted of witness tampering and
charges related to an arson scheme.
to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden
Brown, Samuel Siligato, 56, of Pleasant
Mills Road, Hammonton, was sentenced late
yestesday to a total of 11 years in state
prison by Superior Court Judge Albert J.
Garofolo of Atlantic County.
July 24, following an 11-week jury trial
in front of Judge Garofolo, Siligato was
convicted of attempted theft by deception
and conspiracy, both in the second-degree,
and two counts of third-degree witness tampering.
Those charges were contained in two separate
state grand jury indictments obtained by
the Division of Criminal Justice - Office
of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
Garofolo sentenced Siligato to five years
in prison on each of the two second-degree
charges, with the terms to be served concurrently.
He sentenced Siligato to three years on
the first witness tampering charge, to be
served consecutive to the theft and conspiracy
term, and three years on the second witness
tampering charge, also to be served consecutively,
bringing the total to 11 years.
The jury determined that between September
1998 and November 2002, Siligato conspired
to steal more than $180,000 from First Trenton
Insurance Company by submitting false property
damage claims following a fire at a commercial
property located at 801 South White Horse
Pike (U.S. Rte. 30), Winslow Township, Camden
County. The fire, which occurred on Sept.
29, 1998, was ruled an arson by the New
Jersey State Police Arson Unit and the Camden
County Fire Marshall. Siligato submitted
a $165,000 property damage claim for the
loss of the structure to the First Trenton
Insurance Company and a $15,000 claim for
loss of contents. First Trenton paid $180,000
for those claims, but denied an additional
loss of rental property claim.
to Director Paw, Siligato hired the Rossi
Adjustment Services company to adjust the
insurance claims, including an additional
$206,900 loss of contents claim filed with
Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. Rossi
Adjustment Services was a Trenton-based
public insurance claims adjusting company
which represented insured customers in dealing
with insurance companies with respect to
Fraud Prosecutor Brown noted that Marc Rossi,
the former owner of Rossi Adjustment Services,
along with several company employees, co-defendants
and property owners have been indicted,
convicted and sentenced to significant jail
terms in connection with an arson-for-profit
scheme. The ongoing investigation by the
Division of Criminal Justice targeted a
series of arson fires in Trenton and Mercer
County as well as elsewhere that were intentionally
set in order to provide Rossi’s insurance
adjustment business with financially lucrative
contracts to adjust insurance claims.
The jury also concluded that during the
course of Siligato’s insurance fraud
trial, the defendant approached, coerced
or paid two potential witnesses to give
false testimony at the trial.
Investigators Robert Stemmer, Scott Caponi
and Robert McGrath, Civil Investigator Joseph
Salvatore, and Supervising Deputy Attorney
General Lewis J. Korngut were assigned to
the investigation. Korngut was the trial
attorney and represented the Office of Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing.
Prosecutor Brown noted that some important
cases have started with anonymous tips.
People who are concerned about insurance
cheating and have information about a fraud
can report it anonymously by calling the
toll-free hotline 1-877-55-FRAUD
or visiting the Web at www.NJInsuranceFraud.org.
State regulations permit an award to be
paid to an eligible person who provides
information that leads to an arrest, prosecution
and conviction for insurance fraud.
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was
established by the Automobile Insurance
Cost Reduction Act of 1998. The office is
the centralized state agency that investigates
and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance
fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud.