Pennsylvania man sentenced to six months in jail on insurance fraud charges

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced Oct. 5 that a Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 180 days in the Essex County Correctional Facility as a condition of probation for committing insurance fraud when he staged a motor vehicle accident in Newark.

James E. Payne of Wilkes Barre, Pa., must also pay $13,577.17 in restitution under a sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Petrolle.

In July 2019, Payne made a fraudulent claim to Liberty Mutual when he reported his insured vehicle was the subject of a hit-and-run accident when, in reality, Payne staged the accident. In May 2021 he pleaded guilty to third-degree insurance fraud in connection with payouts on the claim.

“Insurance fraud is a crime that costs insurance providers and drives up premiums for honest policy holders,” Bruck said. “When you exploit the insurance system for your personal profit, we will hold you accountable.”

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