35-Year-Old Charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft, Theft by Deception and Forgery

September 21, 2020

 

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Morris County Acting Chief of Investigations Chris Kimker announce that John G. Vincelli, age 35, of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, has been charged with various Insurance Fraud and Theft related charges.

It is alleged that John Vincelli, who was an insurance producer, submitted an unauthorized application for a life insurance policy for his clients’ two children without their authorization. The investigation revealed that Vincelli had been receiving a commission for the fraudulent policy and also performed unauthorized withdrawals from the victims’ bank account to pay the premium for the fraudulent policies.

The investigation further revealed Vincelli had entered into a civil consent order in reference to a Sagicor Life Insurance Policy where Vincelli forged Insurance documentation.  This documentation included Vincelli creating a “policy amendment” form and signing the victim’s name after a better rate could not be obtained as promised to the victim. The victim provided a statement to Sagicor Life Insurance confirming that he did not sign policy forms and that the signature on an enclosed copy was not in fact his signature.

The defendant has been charged on a summons-complaint with the following offenses:

  • 2 counts of Insurance Fraud, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6A(2), a crime of the Third degree;
  • 2 counts of Forgery, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a(2), a crime of the Third degree;
  • 2 counts of Forgery-Uttering, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a(3), a crime of the Third degree;
  • 1 count of Theft by Unlawful Taking, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a, a crime of the Fourth degree; and
  • 1 count of Theft by Deception, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4a, a crime of the Fourth degree.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Specialized Crimes, Insurance Fraud Unit; Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor; New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance whose efforts contributed to the investigation of this case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, this defendant is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159.

 

Morris County Law Enforcement Commended for Successful Prosecution of Environmental Crimes Case

September 17, 2020

 

On September 17, 2020, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker presented commendations to Sergeant Joseph Soulias, Detective Supervisor Brad Palatucci, Detective Luis Goncalves, Detective Joseph Ellis, Detective Paul Papamarkos, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn and Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Sandler for their work investigating and prosecuting an environmental crimes case.

On August 14, 2019, Detective Goncalves and Detective Ellis were advised of a solid waste incident off of Route 24 in Florham Park, New Jersey. They responded and observed construction debris – exterior siding, paint cans, title, wood flooring, etc. – located near power lines that border a large wooded area and freshwater stream. The site was remediated of the debris by the Florham Park Public Works Department, and confirmed to be a wetland buffer zone within the riparian zone by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Following a lead to Oakland, New Jersey, it was learned that a homeowner recently hired Robert Luis Benitez of RLB Construction for a renovation project. The homeowner had photos and materials consistent with the debris located in the wooded area off of Route 24. Search warrants were executed by Detective Supervisor Palatucci, Detective Papamarkos and the Florham Park Police Department Detective Bureau. A search of the defendant’s cellphone found a photograph of the debris after it had been dumped near Route 24, along with other photos of the project in Oakland. Benitez was charged with third degree Unlawful Disposal or Transportation of Solid Waste, third degree Violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, and third degree Improper Discharge in Violation of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act.

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson/Environmental Crimes Unit members, Case Supervisor Sergeant Soulias, SAP Schellhorn and AP Sandler, were instrumental in successfully investigating and resolving this matter in the form of a guilty plea on January 27, 2020. Benitez pled guilty to third degree Violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, and was sentenced on February 28, 2020 to one (1) year probation and a $10,000 fine.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson and Environmental Crimes Unit continues to perform outstanding work to ensure the public is protected from criminal polluters. Our attorneys and detectives being commended today have decades of expertise in this critically important field. Morris County is very well served by them and I am proud to commend them today.”

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.

Morris County Law Enforcement Commended for Successful Prosecution of Environmental Crimes Case

Left to right: Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Detective Luis Goncalves, Detective Paul Papamarkos, Detective Supervisor Brad Palatucci, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn and Sergeant Joseph Soulias.

Morris County Prosecutor Receives Recognition from the Morris County Police Chiefs Association

September 17, 2020

 

On September 16, 2020, Morris County Police Chiefs Association President Chief Tom Williver and members of the Executive Board presented Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp with an appreciation plaque recognizing his service and dedication to the Association. The recognition was presented during the Association’s monthly meeting.

Prosecutor Knapp has announced that he will be retiring from his current position, which he has held since 2012, effective November 1, 2020.

Chief Williver said, “I’ve known Prosecutor Knapp for almost eight years during his tenure as the Morris County Prosecutor. I have to say that he has always treated everyone involved in the criminal justice process fairly and impartially. He cares deeply about the citizens of Morris County. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with him.  I wish him the best in retirement.”

Prosecutor Knapp said, “I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Morris County Police Chiefs Association. The chiefs perform outstanding work and it has been my pleasure to be closely associated with them during my tenure. I treasure the friendships made with all of the chiefs and hope to maintain our relationship in the future.”

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159.

 

Morris County Prosecutor Receives Recognition from the Morris County Police Chiefs Association

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp (center) is presented with a recognition award by Morris County Police Chiefs Association President Chief Tom Williver (right) on September 16, 2020.