Bellville man charged with cashing benefit checks intended for deceased housemate
Authorities say a Belleville man collected and cashed benefit checks intended for an Elizabeth resident who recently died.
Rickie Horvath, aka “Yoggi,” 54, of Belleville is charged with a single count of third-degree insurance fraud, two counts of third-degree theft, and two counts of fourth-degree theft, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said in a press release Monday.
According to the prosecutor, the case was referred to the Special Prosecutions Unit earlier this year by a life insurance company via the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
"An approximately six-month Special Prosecutions Unit investigation revealed that Horvath fraudulently collected $14,000 from the life insurance company and approximately $5,000 from the U.S. Social Security Administration by making misrepresentations to both organizations, then collecting checks intended for a recently deceased Elizabeth resident with whom he had lived during the last year," Park said in the press release.
Officers from the Belleville Police Department, Prosecutor's Office, the Social Security Administration and Union County Sheriff’s Office arrested Horvath at his home Friday. He was transported to Union County Jail in Elizabethon $75,000 bail.
If convicted of a third degree crime , Horvath could face a sentence of three to five years in state prison.
Authorities are asking anyone with additional information about Horvath’s activities to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Daniel Gallagher at 908-527-4543.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.