Published in the Courier News, Saturday, May 26, 2007
Swindling city cop to pay $5K fine
Samad Abdel sentenced for insurance fraud scheme
A Plainfield police detective was sentenced Friday for filing false police reports as part of an insurance fraud scheme involving an auto body shop in Roselle.
Samad Abdel, 42, of Roselle was sentenced to one year of probation by Superior Court Judge James C. Heimlich sitting in Elizabeth and was ordered to pay a $5,000 civil insurance fraud fine.
The judge also ordered Abdel to forfeit his employment as a detective with the Plainfield Police Department and to be permanently barred from any future law enforcement position or public employment.
The sentencing followed Abdel's guilty plea Dec. 12, 2006, to two counts of official misconduct.
At the plea hearing, Abdel admitted he wrote two false police reports on automobile accidents that he knew were staged or fictitious so that fraudulent insurance claims could be submitted.
Abdel's indictment charged that he and eight co-defendants reported a total of seven staged or fictitious car accidents from March 2001 to March 2003 and filed more than $117,800 in fraudulent automobile insurance property damage claims based on those phony accidents.
Authorities said the defendants provided false information for police accident reports to Abdel and John A. Smith, a police officer with the Borough of Roselle, which were used to substantiate the auto accident insurance claims.
Smith pleaded guilty earlier this year to official misconduct and is awaiting sentencing.
Claims were filed with Progressive Insurance Company, Great American Insurance Company, Clarendon National Insurance Company, State Farm Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.
About $94,200 was paid by the insurance companies.
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- Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.