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Monday, September 22, 2014

NJ insurance adjuster admits to role in defrauding Turnpike Authority

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A insurance adjustor with a Little Falls firm on Monday pleaded guilty to his role in a two-year scheme to defraud the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and several insurance companies of $900,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Robert Napolitano, 54, of Clifton, the owner of Dawn to Dusk LLC, an insurance adjusting company in Little Falls, admitted to one count of mail fraud. His sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 8 in federal court in Newark.

Napolitano was accused of conspiring with a former turnpike authority employee to withhold money from claims for property damage caused by motorists.

In October 2011, he entered into a secret agreement with Gerardo A. Blasi, then a claims manager at the turnpike authority, to investigate accidents on the toll road and determine the cost of repairs to agency property, authorities said.

Napolitano would then submit the repair cost to the motorist’s insurance company on behalf of the turnpike authority, but without its permission, and request that the payment be made to his company. The complaint alleges that three insurance checks listing the turnpike authority as the claimant were mailed to Dawn to Dusk between October 2011 and January 2012, but Napolitano’s company never sent the money, totaling $230,000, to the turnpike authority.

The scheme worked by taking advantage of a change in the authority’s policy after the agency decided it would no longer attempt to recover...

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