The New Jersey Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has obtained a state grand jury indictment charging a Monmouth County man with allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim for property damages related to Superstorm Sandy. 

Farouk Soliman (Office of the New Jersey Attorney General)

The indictment alleges that Farouk Soliman of Little Silver submitted a claim to Pacific Specialty Insurance Company in November 2012 for a barn he claimed was destroyed when a tree fell on it during the storm. A probe determined that claim to be false and that Soliman knew the barn wasn’t damaged as a result of the storm.

The investigation also revealed the barn had not been damaged by Sandy, but actually had been condemned by the local town as being structurally unsafe in February 2012, well before the storm hammered the state.

Allegedly, Soliman tried to recoup the $5,500 cost of hiring a local demolition firm to raze the barn by submitting a bogus insurance claim. The claim was denied and the matter was referred to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

“Given the impact Superstorm Sandy had on the lives of New Jersey residents, we will not allow deceitful opportunists to take advantage of this crisis and add to the economic harm suffered by the State and its residents,” said Acting State Attorney General John Hoffman. “The three Superstorm Sandy-related indictments filed by this office in the last three weeks are strong indicators of how serious this administration takes these shameful crimes.”

Soliman was officially charged with second-degree insurance fraud as well as third-degree attempted theft by deception on Monday.

“Thousands of homeowners legitimately need funding available to them to rebuild their homes and properties in the wake of Superstorm Sandy,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi. “The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to work hand-in-hand with insurance companies to identify fraudulent insurance claims so that valuable resources are not diverted for illegal purposes.”

Anyone who is concerned about insurance cheating relating to Superstorm Sandy and has information about a fraud is being urged to report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting by clicking here.