|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that an Essex County man has been indicted for allegedly attempting to obtain approximately $45,000 from an insurance company by falsely reporting that his vehicle was stolen.
Jabbar Y. Mercer, 25, of Newark, was charged yesterday (Aug. 13) with second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree attempted theft by deception and third-degree tampering with public records or information.
The state grand jury indictment alleges that on May 12, 2011, Mercer falsely reported to the Orange City police that his 2006 Mercedes Benz R500 had been stolen. The indictment further alleges that Mercer subsequently filed a vehicle-theft claim with IFA Insurance Company for approximately $45,000. It is alleged that Mercer submitted fraudulent documents and made recorded statements in connection with the claim for reimbursement.
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the New Jersey State Police determined that Mercer allegedly sold, or caused to be sold, the vehicle on May 3, 2011. The vehicle was subsequently registered and titled in Maryland on May 4, 2011, eight days prior to the date that Mercer reported that the vehicle had been stolen. On June 24, 2011, IFA Insurance Company denied Mercer’s claim and referred the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
Deputy Attorneys General T.J. Harker and Bradford Muller, Detective Sgt. Bryan Catterson, Sgt. Jarek Pyrzanowski and Detectives Wendy Berg and Rick Lane coordinated the investigation.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000 while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.