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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
March 16, 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

Essex County Man Pleads Guilty to Submitting Phony Automobile Theft Claim

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that an Essex County man has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud for submitting a phony automobile theft claim to his insurance company.

According to Director McKoy and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, O’Neil J. Williams, 25, Hamilton Road, South Orange, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Donald J. Volkert to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Williams with insurance fraud (3rd degree). When sentenced on April 26, Williams faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of $15,000.

At the March 14 guilty plea hearing, Williams admitted that on Sept. 12, 2003, he falsely reported his 2002 Honda Civic stolen to South Orange Police Department in order to submit an insurance property damage claim. An investigation by AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group determined that the car had not been stolen and referred the matter to the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for further review. Williams conceded that he concocted the stolen car story to avoid admitting that the car had been damaged in an accident on the way home from a bar in Newark.

State Investigators Jeffrey Lorman and Jarek Pyrzanowski, Civil Investigator Nicholas Liotti, and Deputy Attorney General Philip J. Mogavero were assigned to the investigation. DAG Mogavero represented the State at the guilty plea hearing. The case was referred to the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group.

Noting that some important cases have begun with anonymous tips from the public, Prosecutor Brown emphasized that individuals can make a difference. “We need people’s information, not their identities. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have any information about a fraud can call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visit our Web site at .”

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