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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

July 14, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor


Division of Criminal Justice

Staten Island Woman Sentenced for Insurance Fraud

TRENTON - Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a Staten Island, N.Y woman has been sentenced for stealing more than $37,000 in a car theft and insurance fraud conspiracy.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Monika Fijalkowska, 31, of Staten Island, N.Y., was ordered by Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan of Union County to serve two years probation, perform 75 hours of community service, pay $48,437 in restitution to Allstate Insurance Company, $6,000 in civil insurance fines, and $4,000 in restitution to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The sentence was pursuant to Fijalkowska’s May 31 guilty plea to a criminal accusation which charged two counts of third-degree insurance fraud.

At the guilty plea hearing, Fijalkowska admitted that she submitted phony insurance claims for two separate fake automobile thefts. Fijalkowska admitted that on Dec. 15, 2004, she falsely reported to the New York City Police Department that her 2001 BMW X5 was stolen, and subsequently filed a fraudulent insurance claim with Allstate Insurance Company. Fijalkowska alleged that a camera and a Panasonic Home Surround system worth more than $1,200 also were stolen. Allstate paid Fijalkowska more than $11,800 for that false claim.

Fijalkowska also admitted that she falsely reported the theft of a 2003 Audi A4 to the New York City Police Department. She submitted a fraudulent claim to the Allstate Insurance Company, which paid Fijalkowska more than $25,772. Fijalkowska admitted that in both cases, she “gave up” her car to another person in order to file the false claim.

The Division of Criminal Justice-Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has been investigating phony automobile theft insurance claims and automobile thefts committed by a gang of persons of Eastern European descent operating in Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and New York. The cars were either given up or stolen, then retagged and sold at far below market value, many on eBay.

State Investigators Jeffrey Lorman and Jarek Pyrzanowski, Civil Investigator Gary Miller, and Deputy Attorney General Jacqueline D. Smith investigated this case, and Smith represented the state at the guilty plea hearing.

Prosecutor Brown noted that some important cases have begun with anonymous tips from the public. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have any information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visit our Web site at State regulations permit that an award be paid to an eligible person who provides information if that information leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was established by the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998 (AICRA). The Office is the centralized state agency that investigates and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud. Criminal convictions for insurance fraud can result in fines and imprisonment, while civil penalties can include substantial fines and referral for revocation or suspension of professional licenses.

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