|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Monmouth County resident has pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent insurance claim for property damages related to Superstorm Sandy.
Farouk Soliman, 74, of Little Silver, pleaded guilty on Monday (March 24) to third-degree insurance fraud before Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney in Ocean County. The charge was contained in a state grand jury indictment returned on Aug. 5, 2013.
Judge Blaney scheduled sentencing for May 30. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Soliman be sentenced to 364 days in jail as a condition of probation.
In pleading guilty, Soliman admitted that in November 2012, he submitted a fraudulent claim to Pacific Specialty Insurance Company for a barn he claimed was destroyed as a result of Superstorm Sandy. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, prior to Superstorm Sandy, the barn had been condemned by the local municipality prior to as being structurally unsafe. Soliman admitted that he attempted to recoup the cost of hiring a local demolition firm to raze the barn by submitting the fraudulent insurance claim.
Detectives Kristi L. Procaccino, Megan Flanagan, Terrence Buie were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Thomas G. Tresansky, Jr. represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked Pacific Specialty Insurance Company and the Borough of Red Bank Construction Code Office for their assistance in the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi urges people who are concerned about insurance cheating relating to Super Storm Sandy and have information about a fraud to report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or by 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.