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Couple Indicted for Filing Fraudulent Sandy Claims in New Jersey Bankruptcy

13232046_m.jpgThe New Jersey Attorney General's office has recently announced that a Bergen County couple has been indicted for bankruptcy fraud. The couple scammed their insurance company out of $53,000 and falsified their bankruptcy petition which led to a discharge of $175,000 of debt.

The allegations against Katreecea Cline, 46, state that she reported false Hurricane Sandy-related damages. She claimed damage was done to her son's dorm room in Hudson County, her apartment located in Elmwood Park, and property she had stored at her brother's home in Keansburg. Cline was paid $53,800, the maximum amount allowed under her policy, by United States Automobile Association (USAA).

In addition to the above damages, Cline reported that her recreation vehicle which contained $20,000 worth of construction equipment and other items were stolen in May of 2013.

Cline and her husband, Stevie Mitchell, filed a bankruptcy case claiming they had $209,874 in debt and $36,905 in assets. The bankruptcy court approved the discharge of approximately $175,000 worth of the couple's debt.

It was determined by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor that the documents submitted by Cline and Mitchell to USAA were fraudulent. The alleged damages were falsified. Detectives also discovered that the couple did not report their interest in the outcome of the USAA claims in their bankruptcy filing. The couple also failed to disclose that they had a bank account with Metabank. The OIFP allege the couple's total fraud to be in excess of $230,000.

"It is extremely deplorable that this couple took advantage of a natural disaster, one that caused such tremendous loss for so many victims, to cheat their insurance company," said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. "This type of conduct drives up the cost of insurance premiums for honest homeowners."

Katreecea Cline was indicted on two counts of insurance fraud, theft by deception, attempted theft by deception, and forgery. Cline and Mitchell were both indicted on counts related to the fraudulent bankruptcy.

We are bankruptcy lawyers who know how to make a difference in your financial situation. We have experience you can rely on and we care about your results. Contact our New Jersey law firm online by filling out the form or by calling 973-323-2953 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Levitt & Slafkes, PC.

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