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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Breaking News: Home Invasion Gone Wrong: Group Victimized Innocent Wayne Family, Police Say
DV Pilot police & fire

Sting nets five for insurance claims on cars that weren’t stolen

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

When insurance companies tell you fraud affects your rates, consider this: State investigators said they snared several car owners who sold their vehicles and then reported them stolen, collecting tens of thousands in bogus claims. One of them even got $200 for personal items he claimed were in his car.


The list of those caught in the undercover sting includes Caseem Gresham, 36, of Saddle Brook, who collected an $11,400 insurance payout after reporting his 2006 Honda Accord stolen — four days after he sold it to a detective posing as a black-market buyer, authorities said.


Authorities said Jose Pujols, 37, of Paterson of pulled the same scam. Pujols sold his 2000 Honda Accord to the sting meisters in Dover, then went to Paterson police the very next day to report it stolen from in front of his house, they said. Geico paid out $8,265, as well as $200 for personal items that Pujols said were in the car.

Natividad Lopez, 33, of Passaic, pocketed $16,400 from IFA after reporting her car stolen a week or so after she sold it to the undecovers, the indictment says.

Gladys Ramos, 26, of Paterson, reported her Chevrolet Equinox, collecting $19,600 from Allstate, in what authorities said was the same scenario.

Same for Mark P. McCaffrey, 29, of Landing, who said his Lincoln Navigator vanished days after he sold it. Geico ended up paying him $13,000.

All were hit with a variety of charges, primarily insurance fraud.

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