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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
August 23, 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

 

Former Essex County Attorney/Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Claim in Order to Fraudulently Collect More than $170,700 in Disability Insurance Monies

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that an former Essex County man has pleaded guilty to falsifying records in order to fraudulently collect more than $170,700 in disability insurance monies to which he was not entitled.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Richard S. Serbin, 61, E. 63rd Street, New York, NY, formerly of Short Hills, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, charging him with fourth degree falsifying records (4th degree). When sentenced on Oct. 7, Serbin faces up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He will also be ordered to pay restitution in an amount decided by the Court. In addition, Serbin’s case will be referred to the Office of Attorney Ethics and the Board which licenses pharmacists for action as is appropriate.

At the guilty plea hearing, Serbin, who was licensed as both a pharmacist and an attorney, admitted that he falsified a disability claim representing that he was not employed. The terms of Serbin’s disability policy state that “total disability means complete inability of the insured to perform the substantial duties of any gainful occupation.” An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, at the time of the claim, Serbin was earning wages from HealthSTAR Communications, Inc., located in Cranford, Union County.

State Investigator Joseph Wirzbicki, Civil Investigator Eric Flickinger and Deputy Attorneys General Steven Cirillo and Michael Troso were assigned to the investigation. DAG Troso represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the Aug. 22 guilty plea hearing. The case was referred to the Division of Criminal Justice by Prudential Insurance Company, which was acquired by Reassure America Life Insurance Company during the course of the investigation.

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