For Immediate Release: January 4, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
– Al Garcia, Interim Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
TRENTON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced today that an insurance agent in Essex County was indicted on charges related to fraudulent insurance applications he allegedly submitted to four insurance companies to illegally obtain commissions.
Jean Estil, 37, of Newark, was charged with insurance fraud and theft by deception (2nd degree), attempted theft by deception and impersonation (3rd degree), and forgery (4th degree) in an indictment handed up by a grand jury in Trenton on December 22, 2022.
The charges stem from applications submitted to Columbian, Mutual of Omaha, Transamerica and Royal Neighbors of America between October 1, 2019 and March 6, 2022. According to the charges, Estil fraudulently submitted applications to obtain or renew policies knowing they contained false information or omitted material facts so that he could obtain commissions. Estil also allegedly forged the names of individuals on eight insurance applications, obtained the personal identifying information of an individual and used it to represent himself as that person in a phone call with one of the insurance companies, and illegally obtained commissions from four insurance companies in the aggregate amount of $75,000 or more.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000; while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000; and fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Deputy Attorney General Amanda Nini presented the case to the grand jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. Detective Brian Bunn coordinated the investigation with assistance from Investigator Anthony Mihalow.
Interim Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Garcia noted that some important investigations begin with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about 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.
Defense Attorney for Estil: Unknown