NJ man sentenced for trying to collect $45K in insurance by falsely reporting stolen car

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By Bill Wichert

NEWARK— A Newark man was sentenced today to three years of probation for trying to collect about $45,000 in insurance money by falsely reporting that his vehicle was stolen, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced.

Jabbar Mercer, 26, had pleaded guilty on July 21 to a third-degree charge of attempted theft by deception.

In a press release, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi noted that, under state law, there is a presumption against any prison time for a person convicted of a third-degree crime who has not previously been convicted of an indictable offense.

An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the New Jersey State Police revealed that Mercer sold, or caused to be sold, his 2006 Mercedes Benz R500 on May 3, 2011, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

The next day, the vehicle was registered and titled in Maryland, authorities said.

But on May 12, 2011, Mercer falsely reported to the police department in Orange that the vehicle had been stolen, authorities said. Mercer later filed a vehicle-theft claim with IFA Insurance Company for approximately $45,000, authorities said.

Mercer submitted fraudulent documents and made sworn statements in connection with his reimbursement claim, authorities said.

IFA Insurance Company denied Mercer’s claim on June 24, 2011, and referred the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, authorities said.

Bill Wichert may be reached at bwichert@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillWichertNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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