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Monday, 29 June 2015 22:12

NJ Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison After Unlawfully Attempting to Obtain Compensation from Insurer

An Essex County man was sentenced to three years in state prison on June 26 for seeking compensation of more than $15,000 from his insurer for both damage done to his car prior to his policy’s effective date and for personal items he claimed were taken during a five-day period when he fraudulently claimed the car had been stolen.

Derrick Smith, 32, of Newark, was sentenced by Essex County Superior Court Judge Alfonse J. Cifelli. Smith pleaded guilty in May to second-degree insurance fraud.

Smith was charged by the state grand jury in a September 2014 indictment that accused him of seeking $13,629 from National Liability and Fire for damage to his 2002 BMW M3 that he claimed had been done during a five-day period in December 2013 when car had been stolen. In addition, he stated that there was a $1,700 watch and earrings valued at $1,000 inside his stolen vehicle. Smith later contacted the police department and stated that he had found his car, but it had extensive damage, and his watch and earrings were gone. Smith then filed a claim with National, seeking compensation for the damages for the stolen personal items.

OIFP found that Smith himself caused the damage days before he reported his car stolen when he struck a parked car in Newark. He admitted as much to an insurance investigator investigating the damage to that parked car. The following day, Smith applied for and was granted an auto insurance policy from National, with an effective date and time of December 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

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