A former claims manager for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority admitted to stealing at least $1.5 million from the Authority as well as various insurance companies.
Gerardo Blasi, 55, of Clifton, New Jersey pleaded guilty to defrauding the Turnpike Authority and insurance companies in order to obtain money and property.
Blasi worked as the claims manager to the NJTA from May 2009 to June 2013. As claims manager, Blasi negotiated and recovered the costs of repairs from insurance companies of motorists who damaged NJTA property.
Blasi, with the help of representatives from two NJ-based insurance claims adjusting companies, inflated the costs to repair the damages done to the property by insured motorists. The inflated claims were then submitted to the motorists’ insurance companies and payment was directed through the mail to one of the claims adjusting companies rather than to the NJTA. Only payments for the actual costs were passed on to the NJTA.
Blasi and his conspirators then shared the difference between the inflated costs and the payments of the actual costs sent to the NJTA.
Blasi continued to process those claims violating an NJTA policy which prohibited any attempt to recover on damages caused by motorists who died from accidents on the Turnpike.
Since the NTA was unaware Blasi had processed the claims, he was able to share the entire payment sent by the insurance company between himself and one of his conspirators.
Blasi’s sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2014 and faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.