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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
August 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
609-984-1936

 

Prison Inmate Sentenced to Concurrent 4-Year Term after Pleading Guilty to $4,200 Insurance Fraud

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that a Bayside Prison inmate has been sentenced to a concurrent four-year sentence after pleading guilty to insurance fraud for his role in submitting a phony $4,200 auto insurance Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden, Tommy L. Edwards, 46, an inmate in Bayside State Prison, Cumberland County, formerly of West 17th Street, Linden, Union County, pleaded guilty before Union County Superior Court Judge John S. Triarsi to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor which charged Insurance Fraud. Edwards was subsequently sentenced to four years in state prison to run concurrent with his current sentence.

At the guilty plea hearing, Edwards admitted that in July 2003, he presented a fraudulent Elizabeth Police Department accident report to a law firm in Edison, Middlesex County, stating that he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident the previous month. Edwards was treated at Pace Chiropractic in Elizabeth, Union County, where he signed a PIP Application and Affidavit of no insurance. Signing the application enabled Edwards to file for more than $4,200 in medical reimbursements. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that the police accident report had been altered and that the accident had in fact occurred in April, 2002. The investigation further determined that Edwards had previously received $4,500 in a civil settlement for the 2002 accident in which he was a pedestrian.

State Investigator Frank Cignarella, Civil Investigator Joseph Burro, and Deputy Attorney General Walter Krako were assigned to the investigation. DAG Krako represented the Division of Criminal Justice -Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing. The investigation was referred to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by AIG Insurance Company after it denied the claim.

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