udson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On November 15, 2019, David Lutchmidat, age 56, and Yvonne Sanichar, age 50, surrendered to members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit while accompanied by their attorneys. The West New York residents were arrested without incident following an investigation into an allegation that they conspired to commit insurance fraud by providing fraudulent information in order to obtain a trip insurance reimbursement.
An investigation by members of the Public Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit revealed that Lutchmidat and Sanichar attempted to obtain full reimbursement for airfare and hotel costs from a trip insurance policy which they purchased in September 2018 by submitting a forged active military duty authorization as the reason for the cancellation of their trip.
The couple also requested and obtained full reimbursement for their airfare from the airline by claiming active military duty as the reason for the cancellation.
Further investigation revealed that Lutchmidat had not been on active military duty since 1998 and that the alleged person who signed Lutchmidat’s active duty authorization was an Air Force Colonel who has been retired since 2005.
Lutchmidat was arrested on a Summons Complaint charging him with Insurance Fraud in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6, a third-degree crime; Forgery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1, a third-degree crime; and Theft By Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, a third-degree crime.
Sanichar was arrested on a Summons Complaint charging her with Insurance Fraud in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6, a third-degree crime and Theft By Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, a third-degree crime.
Following the arrests, the defendants were released on their own recognizance. They are scheduled to make a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court at 1:00 p.m. on November 20, 2019.
Prosecutor Suarez credited members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit with the investigation and arrest.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6.(b)(6).
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