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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
August 3, 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

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 

Gloucester County Man Pleads Guilty to Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that a Gloucester County man has pleaded guilty to theft and falsifying records for fraudulently collecting more than $11,000 in workers compensation benefits while employed.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Michael J. Scherb, 28, 2nd Ave., Woodbury, Gloucester County, plead guilty before Gloucester County Superior Court Judge John Tomasello to a criminal Accusation which charged theft by deception and falsifying records. Scherb faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000 when sentenced on Sept. 9. Scherb may also face civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the civil Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

At the Aug. 1 guilty plea hearing, Scherb admitted that between April 18, 2003 and Jan. 27, 2004, to collecting more than $11,760 in workers compensation insurance benefits to which he was not entitled. Scherb admitted that he fraudulently advised the Guard Insurance Group, which provided workers compensation insurance, that he was injured and unable to work. In fact, Scherb was employed by a tree trimming service while collecting workers compensation benefits .

The Guard Insurance Group became suspicious of the claim and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for investigation. State Investigator Anthony Butler, Civil Investigator Wilbert Sowney, and Deputy Attorney General Steven Cirillo were assigned to the investigation. DAG Cirillo represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.

“Workers compensation insurance is designed to assist hard-working people who get injured on the job,” said Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Brown. “Theft from the workers compensation program is a serious affront to the honest, hard-working people who need the program benefits.”

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