TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the president of a roofing company was sentenced to jail today for providing false and misleading information to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier in order to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums that he was obligated to pay.
Charles Kelcy Pegler Sr., 56, of Spring Lake, was sentenced to 180 days in county jail as a condition of three years of probation by Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. in Monmouth County. Pegler was also ordered to serve 150 hours of community service and to pay at $15,000 criminal fine. Pegler previously paid full restitution to New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and to Atain Insurance Company. The sentence was based on Pegler’s April 17 guilty plea to third-degree insurance fraud. Pegler was charged in a Dec. 19, 2013 state grand jury indictment.
“This defendant had a legal and moral obligation to provide full and adequate workers compensation insurance coverage for his employees,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “By failing in this duty, Mr. Pegler defrauded not just his employees and his insurance company, but also honest, hard-working New Jerseyans who are forced to pay increased premiums to cover the costs of the fraud.”
“The jail time imposed upon this defendant should act as a deterrent to anyone who fails to provide adequate and lawful workers’ compensation insurance,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said. “Such frauds will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Pegler was the president of Roof Diagnostics, Inc. (“RDI”), which was located at 2333 Highway 34 in Wall. During the time of the alleged crime, RDI was located at 608 Brighton Avenue in Spring Lake Heights. RDI employs approximately 400 people. In pleading guilty, Pegler admitted that between June 11, 2003 and Oct. 5, 2009, he created the false impression to New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company, which is a subsidiary of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, that RDI was not a roofing company, that it did not employ roofers and that it did not install, maintain and/or repair roofs. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, as a result of the alleged crime, RDI paid $265,044 less in workers’ compensation insurance premiums than it should have.
Pegler further admitted that between Jan. 15 and Dec. 9, 2009, he created the false impression to USF Insurance Company, now called Atain Insurance Company, that all roofing and re-roofing services offered by RDI were performed by subcontractors. Through this fraud, Pegler avoided paying $134,087 in general liability insurance premiums which he owed to the insurance company.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi, Deputy Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Mark Ondris, Deputy Attorneys General Michael Locke, Bradford Muller and Thomas Tresansky and Detective Natalie Brotherston coordinated the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Locke and Deputy Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ondris represented the state at the sentencing. Additional investigative assistance was provided by Detective Taryn Kong and Detective Trainee Ryan Kirsh, Analysts Terry Worthington and Terri Drumm and Technical Assistant Ramona Navarro. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and Atain Insurance Company for their assistance in the investigation.