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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
June 9, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-984-1936

 

Passaic County Plumber Charged with Attempting to Steal More than $12,000 in Insurance Fraud Scam

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has obtained a State Grand Jury indictment charging a Passaic County plumber with attempting to steal more than $12,000 by submitting false documentation in support of a claim he filed with State Farm Insurance.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, James Eifler, 40, of Dowling Parkway, West Paterson, Passaic County, was charged with insurance fraud (2nd degree), attempted theft by deception (3rd degree), and three counts of forgery (4th degree). If convicted of all charges, Eifler faces up to 19 years in state prison and a fine of up to $195,000. Eifler will be ordered to appear in Passaic County Superior Court for an arraignment and bail hearing on a date yet to be determined.

The indictment alleges that in November 2003, Eifler submitted an insurance claim for reimbursement for tools that were allegedly stolen in a burglary of his tool shed on the night of Nov. 12. Of the $6,000 he was then seeking, State Farm paid Eifler more $3,800. In February 2004, Eifler allegedly filed additional paperwork in support of his claim with State Farm, seeking another $6,000 in replacement cost benefits for additional tools that he had already allegedly purchased. Upon receiving the additional documentation, State Farm Insurance became suspicious and referred the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. An investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Eifler had used fraudulent receipts and other false documentation to support of his claim.

State Investigator Robert Stemmer, Civil Investigator Cynthia Rome, and Deputy Attorney General Nicole D. Rizzolo were assigned to the investigation. DAG Rizzolo represented the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor before the State Grand Jury.

The indictment, which was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Maria M. Sypek on June 3, is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the State proves him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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