Post Date July 14, 2012 – Pleading guilty for boat insurance fraud, a Wildwood, New Jerseyresident was sentenced to eight months of house arrest and five years
probation. Arthur “Todd” Vitola, 50, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to destroy a vessel on the high seas. Vitola was sentenced recently for his involvement on a botched plan to sink a boat three years ago to collect on the boat insurance money worth $400,000.
Boat Insurance Fraud Means Arrest For Wildwood NJ Man
Vitola pleaded guilty to conspiracy. It was learned that on August 2, 2009, Vitola along with others took the boat to 86 miles off Cape May, falsified the ship log and tried to sink the ship – but failed. Aside from Vitola, four other people including the boat’s owner, Scott Tran, also pleaded guilty for Boat Insurance Fraud and other offenses. Vitola admitted that he and other crew members filled the boat with sea water and sent a distress signal to the U.S. Coast Guard. They then abandoned ship using a life raft. Although auto insurance and homeowners insurance fraud is very common, boat insurance fraud is an uncommon occurrence in New Jersey. It is very seldom you read a story about someone intentionally sinking their boat to collect on the insurance money. Over the last three years, I have written a number of stories about different types of insurance fraud. As an property and casualty agent over the last 20 years, insurance fraud continues to astonish me. Although many continue to attempt to game the system and engage in insurance fraud – nearly everyone gets caught. In most cases, the amount of money is so small you have to wonder what these people are attempting to accomplish.
Michael E. Dortch
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