Lakewood recycling firm, owner plead guilty to insurance fraud
A Lakewood electronics recycling firm is likely to be fined $200,000 and its owner faces a possible three-year prison term, for scamming an insuror out of almost $600,000.
Albert Boufarah, 49, of Toms River, and Supreme Assent Management Recovery (SAMR), pleaded guilty to second-degree counts of conspiracy and insurance fraud, according to the office of New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. The hearing took place Tuesday before Judge Wendell Daniels in Ocean County Superior Court.
Boufarah admitted falsifying information submitted to the insurance company in order to minimize the premiums for workers' compensation coverage.
The company and its owner are jointly and individually liable for $598,282 in restitution to New Jersey Manufactuers' Insurance Company (NJM), authorities said. Sentencing is scheduled for March 3, 2017.
The indictment reached in February alleged that SAMR, Boufarah, and five other defendants misclassified employees in submissions to NJM subisidiary New Jersey Casualty.
Also charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, and theft by deception were: Donna DeMartino, 39, of Brick Township, listed as a SAMR official; The Amato Agency, LLC, Neptune; Joseph Amato II, 72, the agency's owner, of Waretown; Joseph Amato III, 49, an agency representative, of Howell; and Jennifer Phillips, 42, an agency representative, of Old Bridge.
Prosecutors are recommending probation for Donna DeMartino, who pleaded guilty to a third-degree insurance fraud count and testified for the state.
Boufarah, DeMartino, Joseph Amato II, Joseph Amato III, and Philips were also charged with second-degree misconduct by a corporate official. Boufarah and DeMartino were additionally charged with fourth-degree falsifying records. Joseph Amato II and Joseph Amato III were additionally charged with fourth-degree false swearing.
DeMartino previously pleaded guilty to third-degree insurance fraud and agreed to testify truthfully for the State. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend probation when DeMartino is sentenced on November 10.
Charges are pending against the Amatos and Phillips.
Boufarah and SAMR were represented at the plea hearing by attorney Louis Barbone. DeMartino was represented by attorney Steven E. Yost.
The State was represented by Deputy Attorney General Colin J. Keiffer. Detectives Megan Flanagan and Kristi Procaccino coordinated the investigation, along with Detective Sergeant Jarek Pyrzanowski, Detective Kahlil McGrady, Assistant Section Chief Chris Runkle and Analysts Theresa Worthington and Terri Drumm.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.