For Immediate Release
June 1, 2011
Catherine L. Bernhard, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Insurance Fraud Unit Prosecutor
Consumer Protection and Anti Trust Bureau
(603) 271-2898 or (603) 271-7973 x 235
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Insurance Commissioner Roger A. Sevigny announced today the conviction of Joseph Pappa of Bethlehem, NH for the insurance related crime of attempted theft by deception. On May 31, 2011, a hearing was held at the Grafton County Superior Court at which Mr. Pappa pleaded guilty to one Class A misdemeanor of attempting to obtain over $3500 in benefits from Co-Operative Insurance Company ("Co-Operative") by deception. Mr. Pappa received a suspended House of Corrections sentence, was required to pay restitution to Co-Operative Insurance Company for the cost of its investigation into his actions, and further ordered to complete 30 hours of community service within one year of the date of the plea and sentencing hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Pappa apologized to the Court for his actions.
In January of 2010, Joseph Pappa's 2004 Mazda was hit in a parking lot by another vehicle. The other driver's insurance company paid Mr. Pappa $3,777.10 for the damage to his car. In March of 2010, Mr. Pappa filed an insurance claim with his insurer, Co-Operative Insurance, for what turned out to be the same damage. As part of his claim, Mr. Pappa provided Co-Operative an estimate of the damage to his car which was prepared by Littleton Chevrolet. Co-Operative was alerted to the deception when the adjuster assigned to Mr. Pappa's claim learned that Littleton Chevrolet had another estimate for the Mazda which had been completed in January of 2010. A review of the two estimates and photographs taken of the vehicle at the time of each estimate revealed that the damage claimed in March was the same damage that was found and paid for after the January collision.When Mr. Pappa was confronted with this information, he withdrew the Co-Operative insurance claim. The matter was referred to the NH Insurance Department Fraud Unit for investigation. Mr. Pappa told investigators that he attempted to deceive Co-Operative Insurance into believing that he was entitled to payment in March for the damage incurred in January, and for which he had already been paid.
The prosecution is the result of collaboration between the Attorney General's Office and the NH Insurance Department Fraud Unit. The Fraud Unit was formed under RSA 417 to investigate and prosecute Insurance Fraud and other insurance-related criminal activity with the assistance of the NH Department of Justice.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301