|TRENTON - Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a former employee for a now-defunct Camden County construction company was sentenced to state prison today for his role in an insurance fraud scheme that targeted homes purportedly damaged by hail.
Marcin Gradziel, 34, of Lake Worth, FL, who lived in Pennsylvania at the time of the crime, was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Terrence R. Cook in Burlington County. The sentence was based on Gradziel’s guilty plea to second-degree insurance fraud, a charge contained in a state grand jury indictment returned on June 14, 2011.
“Homeowners have enough to deal with without con artists inflicting unwarranted damage onto their homes and causing an unnecessary financial burden,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “The lengthy sentence imposed today serves as a reminder that committing insurance fraud in New Jersey can, and will, lead to prison.”
“The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to work hand-in-hand with insurance companies to identify fraudulent schemes such as this one so that valuable resources are not diverted for illegal purposes,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.
In pleading guilty on Aug. 2, Gradziel admitted that in December 2010, acting on behalf of Precision Network Solutions, d.b.a. Precision Builders, of Voorhees, he caused fraudulent property damage insurance claims to be submitted to Traveler’s Insurance Company, for property damage to three homes within Gloucester and Camden Counties purportedly caused by hail storms.
An investigation determined that representatives from Precision Builders were canvassing neighborhoods and were claiming that homes had been damaged in a hail storm and advising homeowners that they could get new siding and roofing at no cost.
Several homeowners told investigators that they were not aware that they had any hail damage to their homes before being solicited by Precision Builders. An investigation determined that, after homeowners filed claims with their insurance carrier, Gradziel would visit and damage the properties prior to the adjusters’ inspections.
On March 26, 2012, Gradziel's co-defendant, Dominik Sadowski, 37, of Sellersville, Pa., pleaded guilty to third-degree insurance fraud before Superior Court Judge Ronald Bookbinder in Burlington County. In addition, Precision Network Solutions, d.b.a. Precision Builders, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud. Precision Builders paid $68,720 in restitution prior to being sentenced and the company went out of business as a result of the investigation.
Sergeant Anthony Butler and Detective Janessa Jones were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Bradford Muller represented the state at the sentencing. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked Traveler’s Insurance Company, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General Insurance Fraud Unit, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for their assistance in the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.