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Tuesday, 13 November 2018 00:06

Bloomfield, NJ, Woman 'Conned' Auto Dealers With Fraud Scheme

Written by Eric Kiefer, Bloomfield Patch

 

A Bloomfield, NJ, woman pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining insurance identification cards as part of a scheme to steal luxury used vehicles from dealerships in New Jersey and New York, state prosecutors announced Oct. 30.

 

Paige Hunt, 27, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud in a hearing before a superior court judge in Union County, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

 

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Hunt be sentenced to five years in state prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.

 

According to an investigation by the OIFP, Hunt fraudulently obtained at least nine auto insurance identification cards in order to provide proof of insurance when purchasing---by fraud---high-end used vehicles from dealerships. Hunt was able to drive off with at least three vehicles, for which no down payment was required at the time of purchase and for which no subsequent payments were ever made, prosecutors said.

 

"The defendant used fictitious bank account information to con insurance providers into issuing the coverage for vehicles targeted in this elaborate fraud scheme," Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.

 

"We will aggressively prosecute those who fraudulently manipulate the insurance system for personal gain," said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy Thompson. "They're not just breaking the law; they're driving up the price of premiums for honest policy holders."

 

According to prosecutors, "Between June 2016 and April 2017, Hunt fraudulently obtained at least nine auto insurance policies totaling more than $21,605 for coverage on late-model luxury used vehicles that included a Lexus SUV, two Honda Pilot Touring SUVs, a Mercedes-Benz SUV and five Mercedes-Benz sedans."


Last year, in a case brought by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), Hunt and four others were charged with first-degree conspiracy and money laundering and other offenses in connection with a similar auto-theft-by-fraud scheme involving at least 25 vehicles between June 2012 and March 2016, prosecutors said.

 

In June, Hunt pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception. Under the terms of the plea agreement, which was contingent upon Hunt’s guilty plea in the OIFP case, DCJ will recommend Hunt be sentenced to five years in state prison to run concurrently with her OIFP sentence, prosecutors said.

 

According to an investigation conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crime Bureau, the five defendants allegedly purchased or had others purchase vehicles on credit. They then allegedly forged letters purporting to be from the creditor stating that the loan had been satisfied, and used those letters to obtain new titles from the MVC without liens.

 

The vehicles were subsequently sold without disclosing the liens, prosecutors said.

 

We thank Bloomfield Patch for reprint permission.

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