NJ father collected $140K for fake insurance claims filed for sons, officials say
A Camden County father was charged with stealing more than $140,000 in payouts he received after making false insurance claims on behalf of his sons.
Steven Herder, 40, of Lindenwold, was indicted on second-degree charges of insurance fraud, impersonation, and theft by deception, Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy said Wednesday in a statement. He was also charged with third-degree attempted theft by deception and five counts of fourth-degree forgery.
Authorities say Herder allegedly filed five false claims with Aflac between June 2012 and November 2014. Herder filed the fraudulent claims, indicating that the boys - ages 6 months to 3 years at the time - had been hospitalized, authorities said. According to the Attorney General, the hospital stays never actually took place, making the insurance claims fraudulent.
“Most parents would never dream of using their young children as a ruse to steal money from an insurance carrier, but this father allegedly thought nothing of manufacturing hospital records alleging his young sons were spending weeks on end in the hospital,” Lougy said in a statement.
According to authorities, Herder sought payment for a total of five hospital stays for his sons. The father claimed the hospitalizations lasted between 11 and 26 weeks at West Jersey Hospital in Voorhees. In addition, prosecutor's say Herder forged three doctors’ signatures on the fake hospital records. One of the claims paid by Aflac totaled $30,250, authorities said.
If convicted on the second-degree crimes, Herder could face five to10 years in state prison and fines up to $150,000, authorities said. Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and fined up to $15,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to eighteen months in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $5,000, the AG's Office said.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.