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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
September 16, 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

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-984-1936

 

Cumberland County Man Sentenced to State Prison for Stealing $1,300 in Dead Man’s Workers Compensation Insurance Checks

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that a Cumberland County man has been sentenced to state prison for stealing a dead acquaintance’s disability insurance checks - monies the claimant was not entitled to receive.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Bruce Baez, 30, West Foundry Street, Millville, Cumberland County, was sentenced by Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Timothy G. Farrell to four years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution and court fees. Baez was charged with theft by deception via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Sept. 13, 2004.

At the April 4 guilty plea hearing before Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Richard J. Geiger, Baez admitted that between Dec. 19, 2000 and Aug. 4, 2001, to stealing at least six disability checks totaling $1,300. The checks were issued by New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company to Juan “Marcial” Perez who died on March 15, 2000. Perez had been receiving the disability checks pursuant to a workers compensation insurance policy issued by the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company. New Jersey Manufacturers, unaware of Juan “Marcial” Perez’s death, continued to send checks to Perez’s Millville residence. An investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Baez obtained the checks, forged the beneficiary’s signature and then cashed the checks.

State Investigator Carlos Ortiz, and Deputy Attorney General Peter W. Lee were assigned to the investigation. DAG Lee represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing. The case was referred to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company.

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