|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that an Essex County man pleaded guilty today for attempting to obtain approximately $45,000 from an insurance company by falsely reporting that his vehicle was stolen.
Jabbar Y. Mercer, 26, of Newark, pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Robert Gardner in Essex County. The charge was contained in an Aug. 13, 2013 state grand jury indictment.
Judge Gardner scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15. Under the plea agreement, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will recommend that Mercer be sentenced to five years of probation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi noted that New Jersey law provides that there is a presumption against any sentence of incarceration for a person convicted of a third-degree crime who has not previously been convicted of an indictable offense.
In pleading guilty, Mercer admitted that on May 12, 2011, he falsely reported to the Orange City police that his 2006 Mercedes Benz R500 had been stolen. An investigation determined that Mercer subsequently filed a vehicle-theft claim with IFA Insurance Company for approximately $45,000. Mercer submitted fraudulent documents and made sworn statements in connection with the claim for reimbursement.
The investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the New Jersey State Police determined that Mercer 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, Lt. Bryan Catterson, Sgt. Jarek Pyrzanowski and Detectives Wendy Berg and Rick Lane coordinated the investigation.