A Hillsborough resident was charged Friday with third-degree insurance fraud, after providing a miselading water bill in support of a claim a broken pipe caused water damage to a finished basement, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano.
Soriano and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Stuart A.Buckman announced the charge field against Faramarz Azimi, 56, of Route 206 in the Belle Mead section of Hillsborough.
According to the prosecutor, Azimi filed the claim with New Jersey Manufacturer's Insurance on Sept. 6, 2011, saying his basement was damaged by a basement sink valve that leaked and flooded his basement on Sept. 3, 2011.
In support of his claim, Azimi reportedly included a copy of his New Jesrey American Water Co. bill showing 46,376 gallons of water used, however, the prosecutor said the billing period was for Sept. 13, 2011, to Oct. 3, 2011, and followed a request by Azimi to the company for a special water meter reading done on Sept. 28, 2011. Since the water usage followed the date of the reported damage, Soriano said it could not have caused the damage.
The investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit was launched in March 2012 after a referral from the New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance was received.
Azimi was released after the charge was filed. If found guilty of the charge, Azimi could face fines and penalties as much or more than the amount alleged in the fraud.
Azimi is the second local resident facing insurance fraud charges after NJM contacted the prosecutor's office in recent months—in December, Maria Demeter entered a guilty plea to charges she filed fraudulent car insurance applications to reduce her premium payments.