Insurance Adjuster Sentenced to 32 Months in Prison for Defrauding NJ Turnpike Authority, Insurance Companies, of $900,000
NEWARK, N.J. – The owner of a New Jersey-based insurance adjusting company was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the N.J. Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and various insurance companies of at least $900,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert Napolitano, 55, of Clifton, New Jersey, owner of Dawn to Dusk LLC, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with using the mail to facilitate a scheme to defraud the NJTA and insurance companies through false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In October 2011, Napolitano reached an agreement with Gerardo Blasi, 56, of Clifton, New Jersey, a claims manager for the NJTA. It was Blasi’s job to negotiate and recover the costs of repairs from insurance companies of motorists who caused damage to property belonging to the NJTA. As part of the agreement, it was Napolitano’s responsibility to evaluate the damage caused by the insured motorist, create an estimate of the cost to repair the damage, and negotiate with the particular insurance company to arrive at the repair amount. Napolitano would request that the checks issued by the insurance companies for the costs of repairing the damage be made payable to Dawn to Dusk and mailed to Napolitano’s business.
Once Napolitano received these checks he would keep a portion of the proceeds for himself, provide Blasi with a share of the proceeds, and sometimes send the remaining amount to the NJTA as payment for the damages caused by the insured motorist. However, on several occasions, he and Blasi simply kept all of the proceeds. As a result of this scheme, Napolitano and others defrauded the NJTA and various insurance companies of approximately $900,000.
In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Napolitano to serve three years of supervised release.
Blasi previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced on Nov. 12, 2014, to 45 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked the N.J. Turnpike Authority, under the direction of Veronique Hakim, for its cooperation during the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Foster of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecution’s Division.
Defense counsel: John Yauch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark