|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Camden County man was charged today in a 33-count indictment for allegedly stealing more than $48,000 by continuing to cash his father’s annuity checks for more than two years after his father’s death.
Joseph H. Kayati Jr., 51, of Waterford Township, was charged with 26 counts of forgery, two counts of failure to pay taxes and one count each of theft by deception, identity theft, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, failure to file income tax return, and filing a false or fraudulent form NJ 1040. All of the counts were third-degree charges.
“Every month, for more than two years, this defendant allegedly made a conscious decision to perpetuate a fraud in order to greedily accept payments that did not belong to him,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said.
“Annuity theft, in whatever form it takes, such as in this case in which the defendant allegedly endorsed checks sent to his deceased father, will be prosecuted vigorously by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.
The state grand jury indictment alleges that between Nov. 21, 2011 and Dec. 23, 2013, Kayati Jr. stole $48,382 in annuity checks from Monarch Life Insurance Company (Monarch). It is alleged that Kayati Jr. failed to report to Monarch that his father had died in 2011. Over the course of more than a year, Kayati Jr. allegedly took 26 annuity checks out of his father’s Post Office Box and cashed the checks, forging his father’s signature on each one.
It is further alleged that between April 15, 2013 and April 15, 2014, Kayati Jr. failed to report the annuity proceeds as taxable income to the New Jersey Department of Treasury. An investigation determined that Kayati Jr. allegedly failed to report the stolen annuity income in his 2012 taxes, and did not file any taxes at all for 2013. As a result, the defendant allegedly failed to pay $669, which includes taxes, penalties and interest, due to the state.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.
Deputy Attorney General Bradford W. Muller, Lt. Frederic Moore, and Detectives Cortney Lawrence and Janessa Jones coordinated the investigation. Additional investigative assistance was provided by Supervising Auditor Michael D. Mullane of the Division of Taxation’s Office of Criminal Investigations. Deputy Attorney General Muller presented the case to the state grand jury. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked Monarch for referring the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and thanked Chief Dan Cormaney of the Waterford Works Police Department, Acting Detective Sergeant James Tchir of the New Jersey State Police Private Detective Unit, and John Coulton, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Monarch, for their assistance in this matter.