Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor today announced the indictment of a Toms River man for allegedly attempting to defraud his homeowner’s insurance company by submitting false information that would have enabled him to receive approximately $80,000 he needed to put a new roof on his house.
Louis Ciardi, 55, was charged with second-degree insurance fraud and second-degree theft by deception in a state grand jury indictment.
“What this indictment alleges is that the defendant has proven himself to be dishonest, going to great lengths to try and bilk his insurance company of thousands of dollars following Superstorm Sandy,” Hoffman said. “Throughout the claims process, the defendant had many chances to come clean, but chose instead to continue the fraud, we are alleging.”
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the charges stem from a homeowner’s insurance claim filed for partial roof repairs immediately following Superstorm Sandy in November 2012, and a separate claim filed following a windy day in March 2013. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (NJM) denied Ciardi’s spring 2013 claim because the company alleged that no repairs had actually been completed following Superstorm Sandy to protect against possible future damages. Ciardi, it is alleged, lied about this to NJM, claiming that he had repaired the roof following the 2012 destructive storm. Ciardi was allegedly seeking $79,698.32 from NJM for a total roof replacement following the damage to his house in March 2013. There is no alleged fraud associated with the Sandy claim in and of itself.
“Mr. Ciardi committed insurance fraud from the moment he allegedly misrepresented information to his insurer,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi. “We are alleging that he made several misrepresentations with the intent of receiving a hefty sum that he did not deserve.”
NJM rejected Ciardi’s claim for a total roof replacement after concluding that he had not made the required repairs after Superstorm Sandy, thus compromising the integrity of the roof. Ciradi maintained that the work had indeed been done, saying that the reason it appeared no repairs had been completed was because the purported “new shingles” had been stained to look like the old ones. It is alleged that some weeks after those conversations with NJM, Ciardi had repairs made to the roof that would have been akin to those NJM had approved for a claim following Superstorm Sandy.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Locke presented the case to the grand jury. Detective Brian Bunn, Lieutenant Frederic Moore and Detective Eric Flickinger coordinated the investigation.