New Jersey men face auto insurance fraud charges

Two men in Somerset County, N.J. submitted a fraudulent auto insurance claim, say authorities

Two New Jersey men attempted to commit auto insurance fraud, said the prosecutor's office in Somerset County, New Jersey this week.

The men, Alex Cubero and Jorge H. Henao, filed a claim on Henao's policy after they were involved in separate accidents. Cubero did not have collision coverage on his policy. On September 2, 2008, the two men staged an accident and reported it to the police.

In their fraudulent claim, the men said that Henao's car ran over Cubero's motorcycle, causing $9,000 in damage. But Henao's insurance company was instantly suspicious, as the damage to the motorcycle was inconsistent with the police report that had been filed.

Cubero surrendered but Henao has yet to do so, according to the prosecutor's office. The Star-Ledger reports that the men face counts of attempted theft by deception, fictitious reports and insurance fraud, in addition to a disorderly persons offense.

Fraudulent auto insurance claims add significantly to consumers' insurance costs, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud notes. Fraud and "buildup" - excessive but not fraudulent medical treatment - added between $4.8 billion and $6.8 billion in auto insurance claim payments in 2007, the CAIF says.

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Posted: December 8, 2009

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