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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

July 31, 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

Florida Man Charged with Auto Theft
as Part of Continuing Theft Investigation

TRENTON - Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a Florida man has been indicted for his role in an auto theft scam.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, a Union County grand jury indictment was handed up Friday charging Krzysztof Walentynowicz, 34, of West Palm Beach, Fla., with second-degree receiving stolen property and third-degree prohibited alteration of motor vehicle trademark or identification number. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 10 years State prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000. Walentynowicz also may face civil insurance fraud fines.

The indictment alleges that on or about June 21, 2002, in Cranford, N.J., Walentynowicz had in his possession seven vehicles that he knew were stolen: a 2001 BMW 330, a 2001 Audi S4, a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 2002 GMC Denali, a 2002 Jeep Limited and two 2002 Cadillac Escalades. A joint investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the Cranford Police Department determined that Walentynowicz allegedly possessed these automobiles in order to re-tag them with altered vehicle identification numbers or chop them into parts.

State Investigator Jarek Pyrzanowski, and Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Monahan were assigned to the investigation into this case. Monahan presented the case to the Union County grand jury on behalf of the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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 an award to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that 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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