In a joint investigation with the New Jersey State Police, the Proformance Insurance Company, a provider of specialized property/casualty insurance products in New Jersey, revealed that one of its auto policyholders had disposed of an allegedly stolen vehicle for the purpose of committing insurance fraud.
On Feb. 4, 2005, Giacomo Biondo, 49, of Cape May Court House, N.J., filed a report with the Atlantic City Police Department , claiming that his 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer sport utility vehicle had been stolen from a parking lot outside an Atlantic City bar at approximately 11:30 p.m. He subsequently filed an insurance claim with Proformance for the loss of the vehicle, valued at $21,000.
Proformance’s Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police, later discovered that the vehicle had been found burning in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Feb. 2, 2005, two days prior to the date Biondo claimed it was stolen. During questioning Biondo admitted to soliciting the help of an anonymous acquaintance to dispose of the vehicle in order to defraud his auto insurer.
The investigation revealed that Biondo had been involved in an auto accident while driving his Chevrolet Trailblazer several days prior to filing his false claim. He also admitted to being intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Giacomo Biondo was arrested by the New Jersey State Police on July 6, 2005 and charged with Criminal Attempt (Theft by Deception). On Nov. 22, 2005, an Atlantic County Superior Court grand jury indicted Biondo on charges of Criminal Attempt, Conspiracy and False Swearing.
A release issued by the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety on Dec. 2, 2005 stated that Biondo faces a civil insurance fraud penalty of $5,000 and that the criminal case is pending further action by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.