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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
April 26, 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


John R. Hagerty


Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Seek Clients of Cumberland County Insurance Agency

Bates General Insurance Agency Target of Insurance Fraud Investigation

Millville, Cumberland County - Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown today issued an alert asking Cumberland County residents who may have purchased insurance through the Millville-based Bates General Insurance Agency in 2003 and 2004 to contact the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor to provide information regarding their insurance purchase.

Criminal Justice Director McKoy noted that the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is investigating complaints that Stacey Bates, 32, the owner of Bates General Insurance Agency, formerly located at 319 North High Street, Millville, Cumberland County, accepted premium payments for homeowners insurance policies, failed to purchase the insurance, and potentially used the funds for non-insurance-related expenses. Specifically, the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is investigating the validity of insurance policies purchased through the Bates Agency in 2003 and 2004.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Gooden-Brown noted that State Investigators have identified more than 70 Bates Insurance Agency customers and that Bates may have defrauded other insurance clients who are unaware that they may be without insurance coverage. The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is encouraging anyone in the Cumberland and Salem County area who had contact with the Bates Insurance Agency to call the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at 609-896-8931. Specific information being sought from Bates Agency customers include copies of cancelled checks, receipts, invoices, insurance cards, or other documentation received from the Bates Agency. All information will remain confidential.

Additionally, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has developed a client questionnaire and is requesting Bates Agency customers to answer the following questions:

  • Did you purchase insurance through the Bates Insurance Agency in 2003 or 2004?
  • What type of insurance was purchased through the Bates Insurance Agency?
  • How long have you been a customer of the Bates Insurance Agency?
  • How much was paid for any insurance policy(s)?
  • How did you pay for insurance policy(s)? Do you have receipt(s) or cancelled check(s) to confirm payment? To whom did you make payment(s)?
  • Were you given any proof of insurance coverage from the Bates Insurance Agency?
  • After you paid for any insurance policy(s), was it determined that you did not have coverage? How did you find out you were not covered?
  • Please add anything that may be relevant to this investigation?

The ongoing investigation is being coordinated by State Investigator Robert Stemmer and Deputy Attorney General Lewis Korngut of the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The investigation will be submitted to a State Grand Jury for further review.

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