FRAUD- Six people indicted on unrelated cases


By My NJ Central

NEW BRUNSWICK – Six people have been indicted on four unrelated fraudulent insurance claims in which they allegedly reaped thousands of dollars.

A Middlesex County grand jury handed up the indictments Friday, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey. The cases were presented to the grand jury by Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christine D’Elia and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Megan Cowles.

Shlomo Benhaim, 61, of Highland Park was indicted on insurance fraud, theft by deception, and false swearing for falsely reporting to Amica Insurance Co. of Park Ridge that a statue that he claimed was worth more than $1,000 was stolen from his home during a burglary in November 2013.

An investigation later determined the statue remained in his possession after the alleged burglary.

In another case, Dharam Kaushal, 64, of North Brunswick was indicted on charges of insurance fraud, attempted theft by deception, forgery, perjury and false swearing after he allegedly filed a claim with New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. of West Trenton seeking $200,000 for damages to his store, 7 Day Food Mart, after a car struck the building on May 23, 2012.

An investigation determined he was not injured in the accident and that there was no damage to the interior of his store.

Carmen Semenza, 47, and his brother, Joseph Semenza, 45, both of South Amboy, and a friend, Michael Sottilare, 49, of Old Bridge where indicted on insurance fraud, perjury and false swearing after testifying at a workers compensation proceeding that Carmen Semenza was not working while he was collecting workers compensation disability payments from Paramount Insurance Company of New York.

An investigation showed that Carmen Semenza had been working at a Belmar construction job in April 2011.

William Fetzke, 36, of Sayreville was indicted on insurance fraud, perjury and false swearing charges. An investigation determined Fetzke was working as a disc jockey and collecting workers compensation checks from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. He also allegedly testified falsely at a workers compensation court hearing on April 19, 2013.

The investigations were initiated by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

“The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is dedicated to the aggressive prosecution of criminals who commit fraud,” Carey said. “The Attorney General’s reimbursement program is an important resource which greatly assists our office in investigating and charging those who submit false claims. Fraudulent claims necessarily contribute to higher insurance premiums that are paid by honest members of the community.”

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