April 22, 2010

Office of The Attorney General
– Paula T. Dow, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
– Stephen J. Taylor, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
– Riza Dagli, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

Media Inquiries-
609-292-4791
Citizen Inquiries-
609-292-4925

Newark Man Charged With Selling Fake Auto Insurance Card and Inspection Stickers

TRENTON – Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Newark man has been indicted for allegedly selling a phony motor vehicle insurance identification card and motor vehicle inspection stickers to an undercover law enforcement officer.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, George Hawkins, 45, of Newark, was charged with third-degree simulating a motor vehicle insurance identification card and third-degree tampering with public records or information.

The Essex County grand jury indictment alleges that on April 27, 2007, Hawkins produced and offered to sell a fake motor vehicle insurance identification card to an undercover law enforcement officer. It is also alleged that on May 24, 2007, Hawkins sold two fake motor vehicle inspection stickers to undercover law enforcement officers and placed one on the windshield of a vehicle to make it appear to law enforcement authorities that the vehicle had passed a state motor vehicle inspection.

Detectives Darryl Washington and Kelly Howard, and Deputy Attorneys General John J. Higgins and Cheryl A. Maccaroni were assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Maccaroni presented the case to the Essex County grand jury.

This case was referred to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by the Special Investigative Unit of the State Farm Insurance Company, which initially uncovered the fraud and assisted OIFP in the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli thanked State Farm for its assistance in this matter.

The indictment, which was voted on April 13 but handed up today, is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000.

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