Maurice Douglas, 42, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud before Essex County Superior Court Judge Alfonse J. Cifelli. OIFP recommended a state prison term of four years. His sentencing was scheduled for June 22.
In March 2014, Douglas reported to East Orange police a carjacking at his residence. When police responded to the scene, Douglas said that two males stole his 2007 Mercedes S-550 from him as he exited the vehicle at his house. He further alleged that one pointed an assault rifle at him, while the other stole his cell phone. Douglas said the men fled in the Mercedes and another vehicle.
The following day, East Orange police discovered Douglas’ car in an abandoned lot – its headlines and taillights stripped with evident damage to its body and windshield. That same day, Douglas called Plymouth Rock Assurance and filed a claim for the value of his car, saying that he was carjacked.
An investigation by the East Orange police uncovered time and date stamped surveillance video of the immediate route that Douglas claimed his assailants fled. Those videos do not show either of the vehicles the carjackers were purportedly to have been driving when they fled.
Deputy Attorney General Colin Keiffer, Detective Sergeant Jarek Pyrzanowski and Detective Terrence Buie coordinated the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi thanked the East Orange Police Department for its assistance in the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll‑free hotline at 1‑877‑55‑FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.